Friday, March 27, 2009

Judge Sees "Serious Constitutional Issues" In Teen Girls' Cellphone Photos Case

NY Times: Judge Sees ‘Serious’ Issues in Cellphone Photos Case, by Sean D. Hamill & Liz Robbins:

A federal judge said at a hearing on Thursday that “serious constitutional issues” were raised in a lawsuit filed by three teenage girls and their mothers against a county district attorney who threatened to arrest the students on pornography charges after seminude photographs of them appeared on other students’ cellphones.

“It seems like the children seemed to be the victims and the perpetrators here,” the judge, James M. Munley, told a lawyer for the district attorney, George P. Skumanick of Wyoming County. “How does that make sense?”

The lawyer, A. James Hailstone, said state law “doesn’t distinguish between who took the picture and who was in it.”

Judge Munley, of the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, said he would not rule until early next week on a request by a lawyer for the girls and their mothers for a temporary restraining order forbidding Mr. Skumanick from filing the charges, which they contend are retaliation for the parents asserting their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to oppose his deal.

Culture, In the Courts, Teenagers and Children | Permalink

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