July 12, 2007
Underage Oral Sex Tape: Porn or Public Record?
From latimes.com: A controversy is brewing over distribution of the videotape that shows the young man engaging in oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he too was underage.
Wilson, 21, was sent to prison for 10 years because of the consensual liaison, something his supporters have called cruel and unusual punishment.
After the 2005 trial, Douglas County Dist. Atty. David McDade released more than 30 copies of the tape to state lawmakers and the media — saying, according to the Associated Press, he was required to do so by Georgia's open-records law.
Snippets of the videotape have been played on television news shows nationwide.
This week, Democratic state Sen. Emanuel Jones — who has called for Wilson's release — asked Georgia Atty. Gen. Thurbert Baker to investigate the tape's release, calling it a "disgrace."
The attorney general has not responded, but Wednesday, U.S. Atty. David E. Nahmias of Atlanta declared the tape "child pornography under federal law."
"Federal laws prohibit the knowing distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography — that is, visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct — under most circumstances," Nahmias said in a written statement. Those laws, he said, "trump any contrary requirement of the state's Open Records Act that may exist."
Nahmias' statement did not mention the Douglas County prosecutor. It said the U.S. attorney's office would "neither confirm nor deny" whether there was a criminal investigation related to the tape's release.
"We further advise anyone in possession of that videotape outside of law enforcement or judicial proceedings to return it to law enforcement or destroy it immediately," the statement said.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
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CrimProf has coverage of the Wilson prosecutor disseminating the video evidence for the case. Grits for Breakfast cites a report about the costs of GPS monitoring for offenders. Abyss2hope has followup on the Rhode Island case that I blogged about [Read More]
Tracked on Jul 18, 2007 6:55:30 PM
What is disturbing about the US Attorney's position, is that they seem to be arguing that the public cannot even evidence of one of the most touchy legal issues to ever capture the imagination of the public. Strangely, I could see their position if Wilson had NOT been prosecuted, but since this is now a political matter, it seems that the US Attorney is trying to regulate a good chunk of the way the public receives inform by which it might make its decision (and vote) on this issue.
Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 13, 2007 4:42:33 AM