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May 24th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

What Should We Do about Child Pornography?

typingBefore I let loose, I want all of you to know that I spent many, many years working as a trial consultant for some of the bigger law firms in the country. I am deeply devoted to the law and to our system of justice. It is what helps make the United States stand out above all other countries in the world. 

So, when I happened to read this past week about a well-known federal judge in New York, Jack B. Weinstein, who is on a crusade to combat what he calls “the unnecessary cruelty of the law,” I initially thought, good for him.

Then I learned that Judge Weinstein, as part of his crusade, is defending the supposed rights of a man who had amassed a vast collection of child pornography. The judge, in fact, had twice thrown out convictions that would have ensured that this particular man spend at least five years behind bars. I thought, are you kidding me?

Weinstein, who has been on the bench for 43 years, unabashedly has attacked the law passed by Congress that establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for anyone convicted of receiving child pornography. “I don’t approve of child pornography,” he told the New York Times.  But, he added that he does not believe that those who view the images — as opposed to those who produce or sell them — present a threat to children. “We’re destroying lives unnecessarily,” he said in the interview. “At the most, they should be receiving treatment and supervision.”

And wait until you hear about the man the judge is defending. His name is Pietro Polizzi, a married father of five who collected more than 5,000 graphic photos of children, most of prepubescent girls.  Did you hear me? That’s 5,000 graphic photos! At this dirtbag’s trial, his lawyer, incredibly, used an insanity defense, claiming Polizzi had been repeatedly raped as a child and had collected the pictures not for sexual gratification, but in the hopes of finding evidence of his own abuse.

Polizzi is a disgrace to society who needs to pay for what he did. My God, does anyone really believe that a five-year sentence is too severe for what this man did?  Does anyone really think that what he was doing was just a harmless little hobby — an amateur investigation into his past? Does anyone truly believe we’re being too tough on a man who preys on children?

And let’s make no mistake about it: Polizzi was preying on children. He was gaining pleasure from the pain of real children who were exploited to make the photographs that he collected.

Judge Weinstein, as well as other federal judges who are involved in this issue, do point out that under federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, prison sentences for looking at pornographic pictures of children sometimes eclipse prison sentences for actually sexually abusing a child. And the judge is not suggesting possession of child pornography should no longer be a crime, but I am simply sickened that he would make the argument that those who possess, but don’t produce, child porn are somehow less culpable for the damage done to those children. Those people create the market for this whole sordid business. Yes, there are people who make child porn for their own pleasure, but they also make it because there are buyers for it. Anyone involved in the chain of victimization of children — whether a buyer or seller — is a criminal.

Obviously, we need to get a handle on child pornography. It’s flourishing throughout the Internet. So, what do you think is the answer? Do you think, as the federal judge does, that we should have a little more patience with adults who download photos of children? Should we view what they’re doing as a victimless crime which requires more counseling instead of punishment? Do you think it’s possible that therapy can cure people who genuinely want to look at such degrading, horrific photos? Or do you think we should throw the book at them, letting everyone know full well the consequences of such behavior?

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84 Responses to “What Should We Do about Child Pornography?”

  1. Marva says:

    My comment may be coming from a different direction, but it relates to children being exposed to pornograply on the Internet on a way that has me very concerned for the emotions and minds of our children who innocently access the Internet for one reason & get steered to websites filled with pornography that is “XXX”. There are innocent card games such as “Pokemon” & “Yu Gi Oh” that have character names, actions or places that are of Japanese derivation. Whenever a child goes on the Internet to Google a search for a particular card or character information, and even though these words are legit Japanese words, they also have alternate obcene connotations. There are some very evil people who have set up Internet searches that take our innocent children to websites that consist of cartoon images of rape, “XXX” sexual behavior and down right obcene and unnatural images. They are able to get away with this because they use cartoon images instead of photos. My son had been exposed to so much deviant sexual behavior that I fear that subconsciously, he has an unnatural idea of what sex is. At one point I felt that I would rather get him a subscription to Playboy. Since I caught him the first time, despite my best efforts to tell him that what he was seeing could negatively affect any relationships he might have in the future. That first time, I deleted the material from his computer (it is NOT in his room) & hoped that the shame of my discovery would keep him from continuing with this. However, despite Parental Controls on his laptop, he managed to find & download 4 Gigabites of pornographic, obcene material. I had no choice but to lock him out of his laptop until I can find a safe way for him to be online without accessing this material. I am furious that some evil people have used childrens card games to lure them to cartoon images of obcene sex. My son has lost his innocence. I’m not so dense that he will get access to other material, but it is so graphic that had I been exposed to it when I was his age, it would really have affected me, especially the emphasis on rape of females by multiple cartoon “boys.” What concerns me the most us that these cartoon images are far more graphic than the most graphic photos can show. Actually, a child can see far more obcene material via these cartoons because photographic material is restricted to age-limited access – plus sex photos must be paid for while these cartoons are everywhere with absolutely no oversight. Have you heard of this from anyone else and do you have any recommendations for how I can deal with this subject with my son? He absolutely got “addicted” to this material and was using it to get himself aroused enough to masterbate in the the bathroom. I hope you do read this because it is much more insidious that other pornography. I am absolutely sick about this.

  2. Jane says:

    Fact is, when any human starts defending any bad behavior, too often it’s because they are guilty of it themselves. Just sayin’…..

  3. Lara says:

    I believe that child abuse, sexual or otherwise, is a huge problem in the US. I believe that anyone who harms a child needs to be punished severely. Being a mother of 2 myself, age 16 and 22 now, I know the fear of someone touching my child or hurting them or stealing them. I would kill for my kids! I am though, one of those that believes that the punishment needs to fit the crime. And I believe that some of the punishments for possessing this is ruthless. In some circumstances way more severe than what a person who actually abuses a child receives. Most abuse cases stay at the state level, whereas the internet cases go federal. Take Lawrence Taylor for instance he is looking at 5 years max, and he paid to have sex with a minor. Something wrong with that picture when someone who had images on a computer and never touched someone or shared those images, may be looking at 15 years. My fiance is on of them and has been charged with one count of receipt of child porn because of downloading from Limewire. The prosecutor with wants 13 years. He downloaded legal porn and used keywords from that legal porn to look for more of what he thought would be legal porn. Turns out that wasn’t the case. He was one to download large amounts of anything and would highlight and download a hundred files (or more) sometimes at a time. Hence the guidelines come into play for the 13 years. This type of downloading applied to music, movies, music video, whatever he could find to download. The keywords that were used were not “kiddie porn” or anything related at all. I never would have dreamed in a million years that hussie would have to do with children. I will stand behind him forever because he is not a pedophile in fact he really doesn’t like kids. We have friends with young kids that would still leave their 1 and 3 year olds with him and never think twice. He is someone who made a terrible mistake! Not someone who should rot in prison for over decade.

    I don’t have the answers on what to do about child porn, but it just seems to me that a lot of children are losing parents to prison (or in some cases, suicide)because of easy convictions and punishments for
    “what ifs”. Most of these parents would never ever touch a child inappropriately. What does all of this do to society as we go after these easy convictions? What happens to these kids that are being raised in single parent homes, with no money for food because the main bread winner is in prison? What do these kids think in 10 years when everyone is numb to the label of sex offender because everyone knows someone because they downloaded something onto their computer? Is sex offender the correct term for someone who had downloaded child porn?

    After the last 2 years of hell, I definitely looked at everything differently. I believe there are some people that look at child porn and would hurt a child, but I also, believe that we are destroying our country by locking people for something they “might” do. We don’t lock someone up because they bought a gun, watched faces of death and “might” go kill someone.

  4. Petunia says:

    Dr. Phil, have you and Andrew Vachss ever gotten together? I think the two of you would make an excellent team in the never-ending battle against child predators.

  5. snow_owl says:

    I accidentally came across something fishy yesterday, while just trying to locate a retail gift card for a family member’s birthday. It said “Do You Like Me? Click Yes or No”, then we’ll chat. Well, ok, for somebody over 18 or 21, if that’s your cup of tea. What stopped me was the photo images of young girls between the ages of 3-4 and maybe at the most 14.

    I turned the site and person in. How? http://www.ic3.gov. (internet crime). It’s the offical FBI site for making a complaint against internet crimes. They can check it out…if it’s ok, don’t see how with those images, but that’s how you do it.

  6. Anne Blanton says:

    Being raised in a family of ten children (eight girls two boys over a 30 year span), I can tell you my view and my sisters views only. My father was a child molester and researching through the family tree information it goes back five genrations.

    I would like to see anyone who molests a child put to death. You can’t fix them. If you talked to men in prisons who were child molesters, they would tell you they can not be rehabilitated. I have been through a lot of counseling. I know that there is a lot more of this going on than people realize or care about. (Since most people don’t care unless it involves them.) The problem also includes boys as well as girls. People can blame it on drinking or drugs or their parents but it still comes down to the fact that a person chooses to do it. They are adults they can seek help if they wish. The problem is they don’t. Many times the mother should be held responsible because she knows what is happening as well as the husband or boyfriend who is doing it. No one deserves to be abused in any way.

    Numerous RELIGIOUS people will condemn me for saying this but there is no way that these molesters should be forgiven or be able to enjoy their life when they have damaged/destroyed someone else’s. This is not like being gay. This is something that CANNOT be fixed!

  7. Samantha says:

    I’ll start by saying I’m dutch, so please ignore my grammar!
    I agree with Dr Phil.. It doesnt matter if u look at it, shoot the photos or films, you are a filthy person who deserves to pay for your actions. I’ts fail to say you arent guilty if you only look at it, because to look at it, you need someone to shoot the pictures and or films, wich hurts children so you are just as guilty!
    It actually happened to me, when I was about 5 years old my grandmother took my and my friend to a kiddy pool mid summer, and there was someone there taking pictures. He said he wanted to take our pictures aswell, I told him I would go get my gran but he said not to do it, because he wanted just me and my friend in the picture. Well, ofcourse a 5 yr old doesnt know what that means but when we got back to my gran and told her, she took us right home and informed the so called guards who were supposed to look out for things like that happening.

    It is disguisting that people get off on little children, it really makes me sick. In my opinion, a lifetime in prison won’t even cut it. Maybe some people think it is harsh and these men (and surely women do it too) need help, but in my opinion, they do NOT deserve it, because the children who were hurt in the process, didnt have to expect help either. In my country rapists and child abusers hardly ever get jail time, mostly is just getting locked up in a mental institution for 1 or 2 years and you are free to go! It’s insane, I really hope this will change in the future and someone puts these sick bastards were they deserve to be!

  8. Joanne Kavanagh says:

    What do you do if you stuff comes up on an adult site that looks suspiciously like underage sex or child abuse. There was no way I would click on any image like that and it really scared me to think that this stuff can pop up randomly. I live in Ireland, and to be honest I dont think the police here are properly trained to deal with this kind of stuff. So who do I report this to if it happens again.? I cant get the images out of my head, and I was so disturbed that it was even on my computer without me consenting to it. Joanne

  9. Jenna says:

    Thank you.
    I am so thankful that someone big and powerful out there is standing up for these horrible things that are taking place. Me, myself being someone who has been sexually abused, would NEVER look for evidence of what happened to me. I have photographic evidence running through my head 24-7. I don’t need any hard copies! I do understand that some people do not remember what happened to them and would see photographs as comforting, that they’re not crazy.
    I have concerns for his children. If he gets off looking at other peoples children, what’s the next step? Soon, looking at pictures isn’t going to be enough.
    I believe that anyone, with any part in child pornography is just as guilty as the next. (With exception to people rallying against it, of course).

  10. Hi Dr. Phil,
    You know, just like our fight against teenage binge drinking and the problems alcohol cause in not only our country, but all over the world. But one thing that is definetely wrong, is any child pornography, and anyone viewing it. We know that psychologically, anyone who is viewing that type of media, is capable of acting on it, because once it’s in their thought process, that thought process begins to germinate into a conscience effort to fulfill their lack of fulfillment or hapiness in their lives, and will (in my opinion) act on those conscience and subconscience efforts to gain fulfillment, or even become predators on actual children as an act of revenge for being victimized as children themselves. Anyways, for whatever reason these people view such material, they’re sick, and need help psychologically. And I agree, anyone doing such – is a dirtbag, whether they are producing the material or viewing it, one’s no better than the other; because the end product is our beautiful young children are being victims of predators and sick invididuals, and we need to be rid of them both!
    Best Wishes on your shows this week, looks like a rough story thur, and friday.
    Your friend in Arms; David Starkey

  11. Lee Jo says:

    Dear Dr. Phil

    Now I live in the U.S. but I come from a small country up in the north.
    and be time we look from north jers TV fun shrink shrink it like almost all American
    easy Neanderthal man how can it be. in going to school just like us and is 10 times kingdoms a
    us but alige probably has a high record in being gifted memories. why are they?
    Sincerely Lee Jo

  12. sandra stockdale says:

    believe the children when they tell you , dont call them liars
    and i do believe that someone in law inforcement should be looking at these pictures , videos etc…. to determine who the children are if there is a victim claiming they were abused video taped etc… go through them looking for a match to that persons childhood photos you never know what imformation they may hold in their head …children may not remember names or locations but there are other details that can lead to pedohile rings being shut down . i can tell you from my experience its always in your mind it never goes aways it affects your life forever , sadly alot of rich powerful people like to cover up for thier own .and the kids are just crazy liars . i can see someone wanting proof but i dont agree that he went about it the right way .although there seems to be nothing being done about it i wonder why ? maybe you can use your power to do some good and figure it out you have resources most of us dont have .i was told if you cry wolf no one will believe you

  13. Patrik says:

    Here in Sweden I can tell that a man was just in court for “childporn”. What kind of porn was it, or was it porn at all?
    First of all, I will never defend childporn, but all of us must stop, take a step back and look at it with all your sences and ask your self what is porn? Is it a child not modeling, drawn on white paper nude and just play taking a bath. Is it your nude child on a photgraphy taken at summer play outside your house, maybe taking a bath?
    What he had here was Japanese artseries. Not only with children in, many without them at all, and lots of Japanese wierd artseries with monsters plaing with human sexually. But is this really ChildPorn?
    What did and does he have in hes mind? Does he have it because he like to do wrong things with kids?
    Does I like to go out and kill someone because I play a S.W.A.T-4, or a wizard in wow?
    I and all of you has to take that step back and ask your self that question.
    And, do you see everything with a criminals eyes and mind, or with your own?
    Is it what you see or what he see that shall rule the world?
    If we start to see it hes way, the we are far way out from the good side of the road we walk togheter on.
    So please think twice.

  14. Brenda says:

    Zero tolerance for sex crimes against children and/or child pornography. Period. End of story. Zero tolerance. What it is about our society that is breeding so much of this? Disgusting. It HAS to be stopped.

  15. Marjorie Lipsey says:

    It is a documented fact that being molested as a child has lifelong consequences. Sending someone to jail for ruining a childs life is much too mild. I think that the death pentaly should be considered as a resonable punishment. I personally know a woman who was molested as a 10 year old, now 50 and still having problems that can easily be traced to that incident.

  16. Maaike says:

    First of all, I’m sorry if this isn’t perfect English, it’s not my first language.

    Things like this hit pretty hard. I’ve been a victim of childabuse and pornography. And I can partly understand wanting to go on the internet and try and find proof. I’ve thought about doing that, but it’s not just that it’s illegal, mostly the fact that I couldn’t watch kids being hurt that has prevented me from doing that.

    I think it’s hard to find a way to really do something about child pornography. The only place it really get’s noticed is on the internet and that’s so anonymous that it takes a lot of resources to find the people responsable and even more important, free their victims. So I think it’s really important that when someone gets caught, even if it is for possesion, they should be punished to the full extent of the law.

    And for me I can say that it does hurt when people are just watching. Even though they weren’t there, even though they ever once touched me. Just to know that they watch my shame, hurt and vulnerability, to know that they gain pleasure from it, that hurts more then I could ever explain. This judge honestly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  17. Robert Lindquist says:

    This is a global problem. In Sweden where I live the government has just authorized the interception of telephone and data traffic. Yet it is difficult for intelligence authority to use the interception because the public is afraid that their privacy will be exploited. Child pornography, as well as other violence, occurs in the home and is therefore inaccessible.
    I do not know if the United States have laws that allow the interception of telephone or data traffic. But I’ve seen TV programs that show how police are using decoys to arrest offenders. Too bad it is not allowed in Sweden.
    Personally I think that the technology allows us so much, so to catch up, we need to use resources more widely and allow police and intelligence services to have greater powers. We must ignore our own integrity to save other people’s life.
    In this way, I think that the cases decided in a courtroom, becomes easier to judge to victim’s advantage.

    If we succeed to catch more predators before they go to far, the better for us and our children. Because of the computer, offenders is no longer acting locally. Let us use their tools as our weapons. A global problem requires global cooperation.

    And this Polizzi guy? I can’t believe it. How can anyone belive his defense. If I buy a gun, put on a mask, and stand outside a store, then what am I? If I have a gun and a mask, I have the equipment for a reason. And its not for a date. Same goes for Polizzi. If he was abused as a child, and was out to find his offender, he would NEVER collect any picture images of the kind which he had on his computer.
    Although he was’nt in place where the pictures were taken, he supports the crime it really is. Same punishment for them all.

    I don’t think counseling is the answer. And Polizzi let it go too far. And we can not exclude jail as a punishment. But I would agree we need to understand more of the problem.

  18. Michios says:

    I struggled with Internet Porn. Among the things I always viewed even though I knew it was wrong was child pornography. U cannot separate a sex addict from viewing Child pornography. Get them help because the root of the problem is something else. Taking them to jail will only keep that desire at check but will not remove it. I believe the problem has alot to do with somebody’s life history and background. I believe their are some extreme cases where a person has to be restrained, but instituting this same measure against everyone without consideration is like tying up an insane individual to keep them at bay; it only makes for savage behaviour. I have been free of all forms of pornography for some time and continue in my recovery. I am confident that as I continue in therapy, this habit will not occur again!

  19. Eva Donnellan says:

    Are you kidding 5 years is not long enough…These are our children where are their parents?? Making money off their kids. We are no more better off then third world countries who now and have always used children foe the almighty Dollar.

  20. john says:

    As a parent I do not need these animals around my 5 year old son or my grand children, but we need to make sure that we are punishing the crimminal’s the animal’s that by and make this things not the ones that down load something by accident. The mother of my son was was very young there was a man who was caught with photo’s of her and her cousin’s set in sexaul poses. She was around five years old, this sixty year old man was one of the boy friends of her grand mother. Her mother, grand mother, and aunt’s were prostitutes. He went to prison for twenty years, later this beautiful girl was sold into prostitution at fifteen by her own mother. This beautiful young woman is now twenty-nine, she had her first child at sixteen, was in a foster home from the time she was eight till she was forteen, when the family service’s of Missouri gave her back to her mother. Where is the jutice, but justice is blind. It can be blind to facts as it can be blind to the people who down load something on a computer and get a few extra’s they don’t exspect in the prossess. I think they should do every thing they can to put these animals away for as long as they can, but do more to find oout if they are putting away a person who fully deserves the punishment.

  21. Karyn says:

    my father in law was arrested and subsequently convicted of downloading child pornography. He was charged and fighting the charge for two years before we found out about it. In those two years we allowed him to be alone with our two year old daughter. This has destroyed my family. My husband doesn’t know what to believe about his father. I will no longer allow my child to be alone with my husband’s parents (mother in law says all men do this). It caused me to separate from my husband for several months – and we are currently working on reconciling. My father in law things that what he did was no big deal. It was a video of a six year old girl being raped. I asked my husband “what would you do if you received a video of a man beheading his wife” my husband said “I’d call the police” – I said then why is this any different. My husband has never looked at child pornography – but he is torn about what to believe about his father. Like I said – this has ripped our family apart. My daughter doesn’t understand why she can’t see grandpa (there is currently a court order demanding he have no contact with our daughter). She has been told I will not allow her to see him – which is slightly true – but really it’s the court that enforces it. It’s just a mess.

  22. Debi Anderson says:

    I agree that child abusers/predators should be punished for their crimes, but there is a ” witch hunt” going on in our society now that is out to convict any man that “touches” a female of a sex crime. Do you know that there is a law that allows the police to arrest and charge you with child molesting even if you changed the diaper on your baby girl??Changing the diaper requires you to possibly “touch” her genitals. I know of a good man that was raising all 5 of his kids alone, that jokingly smacked his daughters behind while she was getting on the bus for school and found himself in jail for a sex crime.His family was devastated. Go to “falsely accused child molestors” and you’ll see THOUSANDS that are in jail or prison for something they DIDN’T do!! This crime doesn’t require ANY evidence !! Just let someone like a vengeful wife or ex accuse you of it and you will be sitting in a cell. You aren’t innocent until PROVEN guilty, you are GUILTY until proven innocent, and if you can’t afford $50,000 for a defense, youre going to prison. Someone stop this madness! Punish the guilty, but just like in murder cases, each and every case is different and should be evaluated that way. Someone that preys on kids and admits or is proven he can’t stop, shouldn’t be released,ever, but there are far too many in prison that AREN’T guilty and are paying the same price as the ones that are.This isn’t justice. This is wrong.

  23. Ed Hays says:

    I am an old man, 67 years young, and I have worked in a fairly diverse range of jobs and without skipping a beat I have seen more women try to get favored status from fellow workers and mostely from their boss by insinuating sexual favors. Then when it is time to supply those favors the woman will run right to personel and filea sexual harassment. I wonder who is harassing who??
    It also aggrivated me to have women get angry if a good looking guy who is married reject their romantic advances. They will try every trick in the book to get even with him for being true to his wife and family. They will also lie to fellow workers and the company just to get even for being rejected. All I hear is how about the bad man chasing the women. Please, give me a break. Reality generally goes in a much different direction than what I see on T.V. and in the news. Political correctness distorts the truth in somany areas and not just the sexual harassment arena.
    I am still astounded at the number of women, neighbors, friends of the wife, who have gone after me in a very aggressively sexual manner. Their I go again not following the proper line that says that only men are aggressive in this arena. Well I just have to go by what I see and have happen to me and the rest of you can listen to the correct nonsence that comes from ourT.V. hosts and assorted, smarter than life, news commentators. I guess that sexual attraction is just stronger than common sense.

  24. JBBGirl says:

    This may or may not be on Key. I am strongly against child pornography. What happened to a Co-worker of my father’s son was horrendous. He was young and getting out on his own finally.(College age) He had a roommate that lived with him and the room mate decided to quit paying the bills. Trying to be responsible he told his friend, “look, you are gonna have to move out because you aren’t paying the bills!” He and his friend shared a computer that belonged to the responsible guy. Out of sheer revenge the “dead beat” room mate downloaded a bunch of child porn on this shared computer and then called the police and said his friend (the responsible one) had all of this on his computer. Needless to say, the responsible kid who did NOT look at that stuff, and did NOT put it on his computer was sentenced to Prison time & forced to register as a sex offender since it was “technically” on his computer. His life has been completely ruined & destroyed by a completely irresponsible, vengeful dead beat (who in my opinion) should have been the one thrown in prison for being the sicko who down loaded this stuff on his roomate’s computer. Where is the law that protects this innocent man (or any other innocent person) from being victimized like this?

  25. jojo says:

    Dear Dr. Phil, I tried to contact you few times regarding the same problem, problem that i discovered my ex partner has it and I cannot prove it. I do have 2 babies with him, my ex partner, and I would really need some advice if possible. I will tell you my entire story once I am sure it is you Dr. Phil that I am talking to.
    Thank you!

  26. Amy says:

    Children should beablw to be children, they should not have to leave their bodies who r they too touch them. For the children out their: You r the sun that shines on the medow where know one can hurt u, be free and run thrugh the grass, laugh, roll and just have fun. You r the angels of the world and PLEASE son’t let that monster touch or do anything to u because u do have the right to tell anyone u want.

    THOUGH: Children fly and be free there fore beauty is on the other side where the sun will warm your little face and then you talk to god or whom you chose, BE FREE LITTLE ONE, BE FREE <3 <3 xox Amy Cameron

  27. Linda Pelletier says:

    Dr. Phil
    I am so sickened by the actions of this Judge that I have to wonder if he may have a problem himself with child porn. I believe that a person who views this type of garbage is just as guilty as the person who films the children. This is all for money and some people would sell their own mother if the price were right. I believe in castration of the people involved..Simple…maybe the sex drive would go away then…what else can be done, because therapy doesn’t seem to work, and jail lets them mingle with the same type of people as themselves. Put them in jail for too long and who knows what these people can think up with all those perverted brains in one place…pretty scarry to say the least..
    Thank You for letting me vent
    Linda Pelletier

  28. a g says:

    we have a combination of the puritan and the over the top in your face eros in america. the bigger problem is repression and most of organized religion. we are so much into pornography,yet at the same time very much about church driven mores. cracking down on porn[child or otherwise] helps to feed the morbid curiosity. not different from a war on drugs,that has no beginning and no end. we don’t get healthy as a society,by attacking symptoms,which is what we are obsessed with doing time and time again. i know this is not a popular view,but i think it need be stated. there is also the real danger of a world of reppresive censorship,that challenges our human rights under the guise of a “morality clause”
    and that’s a slippery slope we don’t want to mess with………….

  29. X says:


  30. Buffee says:

    Unbelievable how well-wrtiten and informative this was.

  31. Dahman says:

    , The elephant in the room ceinratly can’t be ignored. This elephant sized burden I’ve carried with me nearly ruined my marriage. Week 1 of this service Jesus spoke to me and I gave it all to Him, confessed to my wife the lust I had been living in (the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do) and praise God I have been forgiven by Him and by her! Our marriage will survive, the burden has been lifted, our love has been renewed, we are praying together and we just lift up our marriage to Him. We are in the process of ridding our home of all the movies, books, and other trash that promotes the filth that Satan has used to tempt me and to come between us. Thank you Jesus for Brand New Church and for giving Shannon the courage and desire to speak Your truths. on 15 February 2009 / 3:02 PM

  32. JohnT says:

    From a recent poll I saw:

    “What is worse, a murder or a sex offender?”

    First answer? “A sex offender, because they hurt people.”

    And most people in the forum agreed! Really? I always thought that murder was the ultimate form of personal injury and that nothing else could exceed it.

    Do you realize how insane our thinking has become when we almost universally accept the notion that murders don’t hurt people to the extent that sex offenders do, especially without any consideration of the particular sex offense in question? Public urination, for example, is really worse than murder? Really?!

    Having experienced the other end of this, I want to “let loose” on Dr. Phil and the vast majority of people on this forum:

    Due to the rabid hysteria surrounding this issue, what people like Dr. Phil are doing is easy. In fact, you automatically become a hero for simply frowning on ANYONE who would dare talk about this topic from an object perspective.

    Comment after comment after comment, people responding here are saying things like “execute them!” “jail them for life!” “sex offenders deserve no mercy!”

    But several big issues related to this topic are consistently being side-stepped by people like Dr. Phil–who choose to the easy road and simply bend in the direction of the fierce winds of public opinion, and in turn, invariably win the public’s praise. Simple, Dr. Phil. Far, far too easy, Dr. Phil. You couldn’t possibly lose here. Nor does this require even a modicum of courage, Dr. Phil.

    One of the most significant issues being flatly ignored by our automatically sex-offender hating heroes like Dr. Phil is the way many people are actually becoming sex offenders in the first place, even for child sex offenses. At an alarming rate, ordinary, sexually innocuous people are being turned into sex offenders ostensibly to “protect” children but in reality were simply thrown under the bus so that law enforcement officers, attorneys general, prosecutors and judges can all look like the same kind of hero as Dr. Phil, as they play to the angry masses and capitalize on publically inflammatory perp walks.

    Motivated by my own experience, that I will briefly mention below, I have spent a great deal of time recently researching sex offender cases and was surprised to find how common the following types of cases are. In fact, the sex offender registries are substantially filled with just these sorts of offenders.

    A 13-year-old Jr. High School girl was recently turned into a child pornographer for sending partially nude pictures of herself to her same-aged boyfriend. For stubbing her toe on this youthful indiscretion, law enforcement deemed it necessary to chop her head off, and her boyfriend could be in serious trouble too, even though he didn’t ask for the pictures. Bottom line: He is in possession of child pornography, and the idea of criminal intent has been simply dismissed when it comes to sex crimes against children. (Way to protect the children, law enforcement.)

    A group of young high school boys in Denver were recently turned into sex offenders and have been permanently granted all the benefits that go along with this for engaging in the age old prank of streaking across campus. (Hey, I thought these laws were created to protect children, not destroy them before they graduate from high school.)

    A man was recently made a lifetime sex offender for mooning his neighbor during a drunken argument. Despite the fact that this was no more overtly sexual in nature that the ol’ middle finger, he will be on the sex offender registry for life, has lost his 500K/year job, his home and virtually all of his financial assets all in the fancied interest of protecting the rabid masses from the possible horror of seeing a grown man’s rear end in public. (Who is really more evil here, the man who showed his rear end or all the folks along the way who thought it was ok to destroy this man and his family for doing so, including an unthinking jury composed of people just like you?! Believe it or not, adults are people too, and this man is in fact someone’s father, brother and beloved son, and no one benefited in any way from the wholesale destruction of his life!)

    Sadly, the most common sex crime against children for which people are being COMMONLY prosecuted was child rape for having consensual sex with their high school sweetheart. And you certainly don’t have to look farther than this forum here to understand the relentlessly tough, if not life threatening, crowd these young people will be facing the rest of their lives. Due to the attitudes effectively illustrated above, these kids are quite honestly facing a fate worse than death for doing what a majority of these same angry, spiteful and shamelessly unmerciful people did when they were in high school.

    In an online support forum that I visited recently, I ran across two tragic posts from a grieving mother: Her adult son had been downloading legal adult porn for months and got one single, mislabeled, sexually explicit image of a child, which he promptly deleted. This was forensically proven. Yet despite this, these laws are applied so blindly and without any regard to actual criminal intent or level of harm done that this man was arrested, prosecuted, sent to prison and also condemned to a fate worse than death by a jury of his hysterical peers even though he clearly was no threat to anyone, and this was all done at tax payers expense in lieu of going after actual perverts who physically molest and rape kids.

    A popular prosecutor in my area said that she no longer invests the time to go after hands-on offenders, because they are so much harder to prosecute. Instead, she goes after anyone who accidentally or intentionally manages to download illegal images of children. And why not? The public has been duped into believing that these folks are actually worse than child rapists. (Just ask Dr. Phil.)

    The second post from this mother indicated that her son, facing a fate that would never offer even the slightest form of social redemption, killed himself in prison, leaving behind a now homeless and penniless young wife and 4-year-old son. (Hey, what about the children! And who harmed children the more here? The man who accidentally stumbled upon an illegal image of a child or all the people involved in destroying a 4-year-old boy, his father and his entire extended family in the fancied interests of protecting the children?

    And this leads to another major issue that our heroes like Dr. Phil conveniently never discuss: The ubiquity and ease of access of this illegal material:

    No, I am in no way advocating the trading of child porn, but due to the fact that these days you do not have to physically get in a car and drive to some seedy part of town to find this type of material combined with the fact that a raging sex offender blood lust exists among the general public means that every single one of you better watch out! Because you have so empowered law makers, law enforcement and the courts with your blind, hang-em-high, all-sex-offenders-are-the-same mentality that sooner or later, the dogs of law enforcement will be onto the scent of you or one of your young family members for a sex offense that they either didn’t commit or didn’t intent to commit, and it will make no difference: As mentioned above, criminal intent no longer matters in cases like these, because that’s what you wanted! Nor does a presumption of innocence. Nor does evidence even matter. Nope! All that is needed is mere suspicion. For example, if someone you love is going through a bitter custody battle, and his wife plays the child-sex-abuse card, it is all over for him! No further evidence is required, and he will likely spend 20 to 30 years in prison.
    Also, if your teenage boy ever figures out how to use file sharing software to download porn, it is only a matter of time before they get him too. I have actually tried this: search terms like “summer, winter, spring and fall” will find child porn. As will terms like “nude, porn, non nude, and busty blond and even the letter ‘a’ all by itself.” Yes, many of these images are mislabeled too. Doesn’t matter. Law enforcement scanners run 24 X 7 and will register that image based upon its SHA hash value–probably almost the moment it lands on his computer. And your son’s life is probably over, because the detective who will ultimately work the case will be pining for the detective-of-the-year award from the local rotary club and will be pandering to that same unthinking, hysterical public that will happily hang your son for a simple accident that is as easy as a single mouse click.

    This has sadly proven to be true in my case also: Ironically, I happen to be an impotent, asexual man who has had hormone problems, no libido and physically shrunken testicals for more than 25 years due to long-term medical problems, and because someone managed to use my IP address to download illegal images, my life will soon be over too, both metaphorically and literally. (I refuse to live the life that all this self-righteous, unthinking blind hatred has produced for even wrongly accused people like me. In fact, I would have rather been raped daily by another man for the past couple of years than to have had to go through what I have been through as a result of this.)

    And no, it absolutely did not matter one witt that not a single illegal image was ever found on any of my computers or storage devices. In fact, not even legal but questionable content was found, like TV recordings of Toddlers and Tiaras. Nothing whatsoever–because I have no sexual appetite of any kind.
    And this can be objectively proven. Will it matter? NO! Because this is the way you wanted it! You, along with Dr. Phil, automatically assume that anyone who is even splashed with a hint of suspicion ought to have their Constitutional and legal protections revoked, an assumption of guilt automatically established, and automatically assumed to be worse than a murder or child rapist (remember, this is what the Judge was talking about that Dr. Phil “heroically” didn’t like) and without further adieu be burned at the stake.

    Watch what you and your weak, unthinking heroes like Dr. Phil who are not willing to take a real stand on the state of our current sex offender laws are both wishing for and self-servingly promoting, because you are really creating a legal monster here that is destroying and killing a lot of other innocent people too, including young kids who are not a risk to anyone.

    And believe me when I say this is as horrible as you could possibly imagine. Before this happened me, I wouldn’t have believed that the human spirit could descent so low. And I don’t deserve this. Please, please, stop this madness!

    I hate people who willingly abuse children in any way as much as anyone on this form, but our society is out of control when it comes to the way we both view sex offender laws and continuously and feverously strive to escalate punishments while at the same time tear down all legal barriers that were originally intended to protect innocent people like me.

    This is really ugly business on both sides of the issue, and you folks are not blameless on the side of this that is destroying my innocent life. Please try to consider these issues with a small amount of objectivity before it is too late for all of us, including you, Dr. Phil.

  33. JohnT says:

    One more thing, Dr. Phil. One of the most important things I mentioned was the fact that our Constitutional and legal rights are being undermined here. These rights are specifically intended to protect innocent people from a powerful government, and in this case, and increasingly powerful legal system.

    And this is precisely what is happening when it comes to these continuously escalating sex offender laws. The following is now common place in courts around this country: A suspension of a presumption of innocence; the burden of proof for probable cause for an indictment is almost non-existent; the burden of proof during trials is commonly shifted from the prosecution to the defense; many cases are documented where people have successfully been prosecuted without a shred of evidence; and radical changes to things like sex offender registry laws are being applied to people retroactively, or expost-facto as the Constitution prohibits. This is such a central legal concept that it is mentioned in Article I of the Constitution.

    And no, it is not ok to trample on our Constitution in the name of making it easier to go after sex offenders. It is absolutely wrong! And sadly, it seems that the conservative, “constitutionalist,” tough-on-crime crowd the ones who are standing at the very front of the line ready to stop all over it here.

    There is never a situation where it is ok to undermine the very rights that were established to protect innocent people from prosecution. And it simply is not necessary: The man mentioned in the article had 5,000 illegal images. The courts could extend virtually every right promised by our Constitution, and due to the overwhelming amount of evidence, this would provide no barrier whatsoever to a successful prosecution of this man.

    And no, it is not ok to escalate punishments to the point where they are disproportionately severe relative to more serious crimes. There is a reason that murder, for example, is punished more severely than shop lifting. And what society is now screaming loud and clear to peopdophiles everywhere is, “Tempted to look at nude children online? Don’t do it. You would be much better off to get in your car, drive to the local school yard, find a live child who appeals to you sexually, track them, kidnap them, rape them and then murder them. You will be a lot better off in the long run, because society has deemed all of the above as being less serious or less prosecutable than images”

    Moreover, many, many either innocent or otherwise harmless people are being pursued at great expense in lieu of much more harmful people because we continue to say the sky is the limit when it comes to punishing people for child pornography. This simply is not true.

    Law enforcement and the courts are empowered like never before to go after people for even the slightest hint of an offense and are in a position to punish beyond comprehension. And as mentioned before, this includes an every growing list of wrongfully accused people or for simple accidents where no criminal intent existed. And these folks too will be subjected to the same sky-is-the-limit, every growing retroactively applied punitive actions as true offenders–and no longer have much of a chance of defending themselves to avoid this never-ending nightmare.

    And this is the point that everyone seems to miss: This has absolutely nothing to do with on single scum bag who downloaded child porn. Instead, it has everything to do us witnessing the undermining of the framework of our Constitution and legal system, and therefore our very way of life. By standing up like this judge has to say enough is enough, he is not actually standing up for this one scumbag. Instead, he is standing up for the Constitution, and therefore, for all of us.

    It’s not about satiating our personal bloodlust for sex offenders. It’s about protecting the rule of law, due process and the principles of the Constitution, and sometimes the vehicle to do this necessarily becomes something like a trial where a scum bag is being tried.

    Folks, giving up your liberties to make it easier to go after a class of people you hate is really not a precedence that we want to be setting here. This will ultimately destroy both our legal system in general and our country at large. Don’t do it. Don’t give into this temptation. It’s not about this one guy! It’s about all of us collectively.

  34. Steven says:

    Personally I do not understand why the porn industry itself doesn’t go out on all out campaign to fund what it takes to shut this sort of filth down. There is an unbelievable amount of horrendous networks that produce & develop things even worse if that’s imaginable. As we know sex sells so I have to wonder, could we use the right stuff to brush out the bad? Watch 8 mm starring Nicolas Cage & Joaquin Phoenix. It depicts a very clear picture of the sort of lunacy involved in such things. We need to rally the sex industry in fighting this sort of thing. I’m very confident that any adult film studio that’s on the same planet as the rest of us would be all about the “crushing” of such grotesque & frankly physically painful things to behold. As far as that goes modeling agencies as well not to mention musicians or sports teams. Perhaps religious groups as well. Would be a fairly green voice in the matter I would think.

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