Home / Be The Change / The State / Teen Girl Faces “Sexual Exploitation” Charges After Police ‘Caught’ Her Sending Non-Nude Photos

Teen Girl Faces “Sexual Exploitation” Charges After Police ‘Caught’ Her Sending Non-Nude Photos

Des Moines, IA – A teenager is facing a charge of sexual exploitation from the Marion County Attorney for sending non-nude pictures to a high school classmate. The teen, named Nancy Doe to protect her identity, was caught up in a “sexting” investigation earlier this year, where law enforcement found nude and semi=nude photos sent by male and female students at Knoxville high school.

One photo that put Ms. Doe in the crosshairs of Attorney Ed Bull showed her wearing a sports bra and shorts, and the other showed her topless in the same shorts with her hair covering her breasts.

In response to this bewildering prosecutorial aggression against the freshman student, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU ) of Iowa filed a federal lawsuit to block Bull from filing the charge. The ACLU states that since the photos were not obscene, they are protected as free speech under the First Amendment.

The civil rights organization is going further by arguing that the law allowing for this sexual exploitation charge is outdated and discriminatory — especially considering the fact that a male sending a photo of his chest exposed would not face similar charges.

“Boys would not be prosecuted for taking the exact same picture that Ms. Doe is,” said Glen Downey, a Des Moines civil rights lawyer who filed the lawsuit and is now partnering with the ACLU. “We think it’s particularly important that prosecutors realize they can’t single out girls for enhanced prosecution.”

Downey is attempting to build on the success of previous lawsuits which demonstrated that laws banning women from being topless in public are discriminatory. The amended complaint in the case of Ms. Doe states that Bull’s use of Iowa law “is intended to perpetuate traditional gender roles and sex stereotypes about women’s and girls’ bodies.”

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In defending his case, Bull dodged the fundamental question of whether this is an excessive use of State force, instead pointing to the “diversion option” he offered Ms. Doe. To avoid being criminally charged, she would have to “take a class about the dangers of “sexting,” make a written admission of guilt and accept restrictions on her computer and cellphone use.”

“This lawsuit is the result of efforts made by my office to respond to a situation where numerous juveniles had exchanged sexually explicit photographs,” Bull said in a September statement. “Rather than take every juvenile to court, I looked for a solution that would help them learn from their mistakes and hopefully prevent their behavior from being repeated, while allowing them to avoid having a criminal or juvenile conviction or even a charge on their record.”

Alan Ostergren, president of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, has also defended Bull. “He sought to provide something that would be educational and rehabilitative, that these young people could learn a lesson about responsible behavior,” Ostergren said after the lawsuit was filed.”

These statements reveal a longing to preserve outdated notions of tradition and proper behavior, and they completely ignore the frightening reality of their punitive actions. Here we have a kid making her way through the trials and tribulations of high school, developing herself to meet the challenges of adulthood, who is suddenly targeted by government for behavior deemed inappropriate and criminal.

Such a ruthless intervention in her life would do far more damage than any pictures she sent to a classmate and pre-empts the right of the parents to raise their child in the way they see fit.

“The Does are reasonably concerned that the pretrial diversion program would have a harmful effect on their daughter’s self-esteem and punish her for doing something that was hardly obscene or against the law,” Bettis said in a news release. “They do not want her to be labeled or shamed for her behavior.”

Bull said he will not prosecute the teenage girl while the ACLU lawsuit is pending. Perhaps during this time, he can reflect on whether his own behavior in going after this kid is “responsible.”

  • Poco424

    Have we forgotten that we are also against sexual exploitation of children? Even by other teens?
    Are we forgetting that the bodies of women and men are different? Those gender roles have come to us over thousands of years and, until this point in our history and at the urging of a few malcontents, we have to change all that. I, for one, believe the ACLU, while at times being useful, necessary and needed, seems to take off on unneeded and unnecessary tirades at the expense of common sense. Let’s stop tilting at windmills.

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      So, you’re saying that until a girl turns 18, her body is government property to be dictated and restricted in the name of “safety”? Are you saying that because men and women have different bodies, men should have more personal freedom with theirs because “titties”? Are you saying that you support the complete destruction of a teenager’s life is justified to protect them from their OWN nudity? She wasn’t passing around pictures of other people – this is HER OWN BODY and you’re supporting a system that will spitefully punish her for showing the slightest hint of sexuality. Fuck that attitude and fuck you for being a sexist pig!

      • Jasonw357

        She shouldn’t be prosecuted, she did nothing wrong and those weren’t sexts, there was no nudity. But bodies are different. I don’t understand how women try to say women shouldn’t be treat like sex objects, and then run around wanting to exposed their tits because freedom. Do you want guys to ogle your body or not? You can’t have it both ways. If you don’t want to be looked at in a lustful manner, don’t give them something to lust after. Men’s and women’s bodies are different. Men are attracted to titties. You either want to be looked at like a sex object or you don’t. If you don’t, keep your titties in check. SMH

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          So, “cover up or we’re going to harass and sexually assault you because you can’t have it both ways.” Another sexist pig who thinks that women’s bodies belong to men, either to be objectified or dictated.

          • Guy

            Wow ! I am not going to walk that minefield, I’d get crucified either way !

            But I do want to remind you all. This, is the same system that will send little kids home, for making there pop tart into the shape of a gun and going “POW” and that Ritalin is a good thing, because little boy’s act like little boy’s !

          • Jasonw357

            Never said I would do anything illegal, why would you mention that? Men will look regardless, it’s human nature. Just saying if you expose them, men will look at them. That don’t make me a series pig, it makes me aware of the real world.

        • Netizen_James

          That a woman wants to walk around without a shirt doesn’t mean that she wants you staring at her chest. When YOU walk around without a shirt, is your intent to titillate every woman you meet? Don’t flatter yourself! Women have just as much of a right to walk around without a shirt on as men do, and if YOU can’t deal with that because YOU can’t help but ogling some girls tits just because they’re there, then that’s YOUR problem that YOU need to deal with. (omg – everyone is naked under their clothes!)

          It’s attitudes like yours that have Muslim women covered head to toe, without any skin showing at all, because of course it’s the WOMAN’s fault if a man has ‘unclean’ thoughts. What bullshit.

          • Guy

            Sorry, but I just can’t help myself ! Please let me set the framework first, okay ?
            Me ? I am a healthy, 67 year, Happily Married for 42 yrs, Senior Citizen Male. Raised by A, Super Mom who was also a Farming Lady along with us 3 kids. Grew up on a active ranch in a rural farming town in Central CA. Firmly learning early on that women and girls were always treated as Lady’s. That was then and this is now and I’am not so sure anymore on how it is, because lady’s don’t seem to act the part anylonger, sending mixed messages to us very confuse males !

            Please don’t get me wrong. I am totaly dead set against sexual violence of any type to women period and think that any sentence should be harsh even for 1st timers. Men need to learn control, restraint and respect for all women, even to thouse that don’t seem to earn or deserve it.

            Men and Women have naughty minds, it’s human nature to be provocative and sexual. It’s only how we act out our impulses that make the difference. We don’t need legal or religious laws, either modern or 7th century, to tell us how to behave, the legal ones tell us what can happen as the result of not. To be scared into it by the threat of internal damnation is both ridiculous and archaic designed to frighten children, just as a burka is made to cover women, from men with unclean thoughts, which is a load of bullshit !

            Dude’s keep your pants zipped and your grabby hands off and women slow down on the advertisement ! I much rather resect a woman who acts like a lady, that one who dose not, but either of the cases should not cause men to lose control of themselves. If you want it that bad, go pay for it for christ sakes, and behave yourselves. That’s all, and thanks.

          • dufas_duck

            So, I am supposed to be happy and content that due to new regulations, my daughter is going to have to share the locker room and showers with the boys and males are not supposed to view females in any sexual ways no matter if they are nude or covered from head to foot….. Meanwhile, females who dress provocatively expecting attention from males will be ignored as if they were not even there.

            I can visualize a whole new set of complaints just over the horizon..

      • Poco424

        Evidently the word ‘decorum’ is not in your vocabulary. Your use of that expletive is further evidence of immaturity and an irrational thought process.
        Have you given thought to the fact that there are many men out there that view a woman who would post such pictures as fair game? That she is increasing the chances of being subjected to behavior from one of these Neanderthals that she would find, at the very least, objectionable? Men can and often are clods. That, my nonthinking young fool, is why there were rules of decorum in the first place. Men cannot be trusted to act in a civilized manner, much in the same way you’ve proven yourself to be an ass with your reply.

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          On behalf of all the men I love, fuck you… cunt! How’s that for a decorous vocabulary? (Yeah, I can conjugate nouns into adjectives.)

        • Andropov

          So men are all uncontrollable sexual predators who can’t help it, therefore women shouldn’t be allowed to be sexual and encourage them? It’s frankly impressive to be so wrong in so many ways.

          • Poco424

            Andropov, surely you are not denying there are men out there that would view those pictures as an invitation? My concern is for the safety of this young woman.

          • Andropov

            Of course it is. That’s why you’re trying to adjudicate her behaviour and not the men you speak of. *rolls his eyes so hard the tides change*

          • Poco424

            Couldn’t it be the case that the police are trying to do what they can to save this young lady from herself and what her behavior might lead to? Why must everyone’s reasons be as nefarious and underhanded as your own? Obviously, you are the same kind of trash as is the cat girl above.

          • Andropov

            In what universe is charging her with a crime “protecting” her? She wasn’t even nude. By your logic, women should also be disallowed from wearing bikinis or skirts that are too short. After all, you never know when one of those sex-crazed men might be lurking about, and we all know that having a penis means seeing something sexually provocative from the opposite sex turns you into a Terminator-like rape machine.

            You, sir and/or madam, are an idiot.

          • Poco424

            The difference between pragmatism and idealism (or having one’s head in one’s ass) I guess. If one advertises enough one usually makes the sale sooner or later.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            Thank you – I take your comparison as a high honor.

          • billdeserthills

            I heard the future rapist’s attorney say, ‘if only the victim hadn’t been wearing that bikini…’
            Is that gonna be Your excuse as well?

        • billdeserthills

          Muslims cannot be trusted to act in a civilized manner, civilized men can

    • Razedbywolvs

      No we haven’t. But do you really think any of these kids should be thrown in jail for child pornography and put on the sex offenders list for this. The ACLU statement sounds crazy, but in reality challenging this law is of real importance. I don’t care how they get rid of it as long as it’s gone.

    • Netizen_James

      WHA? Protecting this poor girl from a bullshit criminal charge that she’s not even the least bit guilty of is not ’tilting at windmills’.

      This girl didn’t send any nude photographs – she did not ‘traffic’ in any pictures of nude children, not even herself. A ‘racy’ photo is not ‘obscene’ under any interpretation of the statute involved.

      This is a good and appropriate fight back against an oppressive and tyrannical persecution of this particular girl. Maybe the other kids involved weren’t innocent, maybe they were. But THIS girl certainly appears to be, so she should not be marked as a sex offender for the rest of her friggin’ life. Maybe the law that they were prosecuted under is a reasonable law, and maybe it’s not. But THIS girl didn’t break the law, so she should not be caught up in the same ‘net’. To allow that would be to allow injustice – would be to allow an innocent person to be punished by the law. That’s simply unacceptable. When innocents are persecuted, it destroys faith in the system – if I’m gonna get busted whether I commit a crime or not, I may as well commit a crime.

  • Prince

    How did Cop Pigs get the pix?

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      Good question!

    • Phil Freeman

      Exactly, how’s was this “evidence” gathered and by whom and by what authority? Evidence handling chain of command notwithstanding.

    • Razedbywolvs

      Do a search on sexting. In most cases the boys get caught at school gawking at the girls pictures and the case gets turned over to authorities.
      I haven’t heard the police pro actively pulling photos of stingray or from back door access to snap chat. Not that they don’t, but im pretty sure they are busy trying to throw elections and arrest the drug dealers who are not blood realities of the people in charge of the town.

    • Razedbywolvs

      I went and looked it up. The kids were using the school printer. 30 kids got charged and took a plea bargain and are now registered sex offenders.
      Ms. Doe’s parents are the only one who decided to fight it.

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  • Blaine

    —–Alan Ostergren, president of the Iowa
    County Attorneys Association, has also defended Bull. “He sought to
    provide something that would be educational and rehabilitative, that
    these young people could learn a lesson about responsible behavior,”
    Ostergren said after the lawsuit was filed.”—–

    No mention of the specific statute and whether the charges should have been filed based on the evidence. Instead they aim to “teach a lesson”.

    Doe should fight this and sue the county.

    As for the rest of the conversation, I believe in and support a female’s right to dress provocatively…or not. Provocative is better.

  • emernel

    What an asshole, youbAmericans are crazy you want to criminalize everything in order to control people to eliminate dissent

  • JdL

    Any government assholes who are participating in this persecution should receive an appropriate punishment.

  • 30yrfed

    All cops and prosecutors are all corrupt. Just ask any cop
    or prosecutor if they have ever see a cop break the law (speeding, lying under
    oath, illegal parking, using excessive force etc) then ask them what they did
    about it considering that they have taken a sworn oath to enforce and uphold
    the law. You will have your answer..

    No matter how paranoid you are, what they’re actually doing is worse than you can possibly imagine..”
    Ralph J Gleason

  • tz1

    Yet if some male made lewd comments at the picture, it would be harassment.
    I’m sick and tired of the double standard and the cognitive dissonance where the society wants sex to be a right, common, yet consensual (whatever that means and the ambiguity is a weapon), yet somehow sacrosanct. A barely drunk girl that finds a frat boy at a party almost comotose on a bed, unzips his pants and jumps on him apparently “can’t consent” so the drunk guy that was totally blitzed is guilty of rape because the barely drunk woman couldn’t consent.

    I want to be a sex object and post lewd pictures of myself – oh but don’t take it as any kind of invite to treat me as a sex object – doesn’t work.

    Can prostitutes claim rape because the client doesn’t leave a tip?

    Perhaps it would be better to put this particular genie back in the bottle until our species becomes more mature in a few centuries, at least.

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      You sound like a fucking rapist!

      • tz1

        There is a redundancy in “fucking rapist”. Perhaps you know a rapist that doesn’t fuck.

        But the whole idea of anarcho-libertarianism or voluntarism is “consent”.

        If consent is so ambiguous, fluid, or retractable, then liberty is not possible.

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          *hisses unpleasantly and moves on*

          • dufas_duck

            This reminds me of a cartoon I saw during the height of the woman’s lib movement.

            [Picture]..A female, standing in front of a male seated at a large, ornate office desk….

            [paraphrasing] “I’m suing you for discrimination, I have worked for you for 10 years and you have never made one single pass at me…”

            Damned if one does, and damned if one doesn’t……..

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            That sounds very much like the rationale of a sexual predator. “I sleazed on my secretary because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. They’re trained to say no, even when they want it.” NO MEANS NO MEANS NO!!! Why do certain guys have such a hard time with this?

          • dufas_duck

            Yo cannot read or comprehend, can you?? No matter what is posted, you claim everyone is a sexual predator…

            Sounds like you have nothing to say except a pat retort to everyone……

          • Andropov

            The little strawman of a comic you described sounds like a fantasy that allows men not to feel bad about sexually harassing women because they all secretly crave the attention.

          • dufas_duck

            You can’t read or comprehend either, can you???

          • Andropov

            Yes, I’m clearly both stupid and illiterate. So is everyone else who disagrees with you. That must be awfully convenient.

          • dufas_duck

            Well, MS idiot,…..It was the female in the cartoon that threatened to sue. So you and your comrade was calling me a rapist wanta-be for what a cartoon female figure said… Cheer up, someday, you will get something correct, even idiots can hit the correct series of keys on a key board once in awhile…. ;->

          • Andropov

            No, I’m just even vaguely aware of the intended message of the described comic, which I clearly and, I am rather certain, correctly parsed above. It is certainly not my failing if you cannot see the same implications. And if you think I’m wrong, the reasonable thing to do would be to explain how. Instead, you chose to insult me.

          • dufas_duck

            And you and you partner did not offer up insults no matter how veiled ???

            The implications is that no matter how things happen, there is going to be someone that doesn’t like it and will be offended….

          • Andropov

            I disagree quite strongly with that interpretation, but I can understand how you might not agree with mine. However, I also believe your interpretation is rather harmful in a couple ways. Firstly, that it can be used to dismiss my own interpretation that I feel is more accurate, making it less likely that the correct interpretation is appreciated and then rightly excoriated. Secondly, I think that, in general, when somebody says that no matter what you do, somebody will be offended, it is used as an excuse to do nothing for disenfranchised groups. In this case, it’s being used as an excuse to do nothing about sexual harassment in the workplace, because if we quit sexually harassing the women, they’ll just complain that we aren’t giving them enough attention, so we may as well do nothing. I think that stance is a cop-out designed to maintain the status quo and stall progress. I also think it’s an inherently dishonest argument. Whilst it is true that you cannot please everyone and it is (theoretically, at least) possible that some women would be disappointed to not receive the perceived compliment of being hit on by their boss, I think those women are substantially outnumbered by the women who are sick and tired of having to deal with sexual harassment because they can’t afford to lose their job, don’t want to be perceived as “not a team player” or as a complainer, etc. I think your error here is either that you’re not thinking deeply enough about it, or you’re part of the problem. You can, of course, feel free to disagree.

          • dufas_duck

            Thank you for your permission…..

            I used to, in another life, be involved in the world of art. I created paintings and sculpture. They sold quite well, but I quit and got out of the art world. A friend worked in movies, he also quit for the same reason. Deep thought. A simple painting, sculpture, or a movie would be so over analyzed that their beauty would disappear and nothing would be left to enjoy. One person delved so deeply into a decorative letter holder for a desk that everyone, not only me, thought we would have to call the medics……

            A fellow artist created a a life sized bronze art piece of a woman and two children for a bank. The ‘deep thinkers’ tore at with hundreds of different interpretations and complaints till the bank removed it…

            I guess that any sex between men and women is rape. Only females can flirt. We can’t do anything without offending someone somewhere. Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, and anyone that doesn’t think or believe in the prescribed PC way should be outlawed to give the police another reason to beat and shoot people. A vehicle’s floor shift and a long hood is a phallus object. A short, high vehicle trunk is loaded with sexual meaning. NASA is going to have to redesign their launch rockets to be another, not so obvious shape…. Certain vegetables will have to eliminated altogether. Men are to be seen and not heard. There is so much that is needed to be done to get everyone on the correct path…. More deep thinking is what is needed…. I think we start an association.. F.E.C.A.L. Friends Engaged in Correcting All Life… Change the world to think as one.

            Oh hell, I give up, I bow to your vast intellect. I will now go tell my wife that we are divorcing and she is free from male tyranny and to go her happy way…Do I have to ask for her permission???

          • Andropov

            You’ll have to look up your state laws regarding divorce. It’s entirely likely her permission is in fact required.

          • dufas_duck

            I’ll ask the first thing on Monday..

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            If that’s the soonest you can get around to it, are you sure you’re not already divorced?

          • dufas_duck

            My wife won’t let me talk until then……… House rules..

        • Andropov

          So if a woman is sexual in any way, any guy should just be allowed to treat her like a sex object? Is that seriously the argument you’re making?

          As for anracho-libertarianism, the whole idea is, in fact, shit.

          • tz1

            If a woman is acting and carrying a sign saying “I’m a sex object”, how ought a man treat her?

          • Andropov

            Maybe like a human being, you sick fuck?

          • tz1

            But she does not identify as a human being, she identifies as some kind of object. Ought I not treat her like she insists?

  • MMaguire

    Ed Bull sounds like one of those loony christian fundamentalists.

  • Nishi

    The state sure is interested in our bodies and our sexual activities. It’s an obsession with them.

  • Gordon Klock

    It’s sad & ugly, the way so many contemptably, ignorant, authoritarians aggressively demonstrate their inability to mind their own business, & allow others to do the same…….
    Profound lack of wisdom, or even ‘common sense’ for all to see….