Imagine being the proud, doting parent of two adorable baby girl twins. You're also a well-known artist and photographer. So, you get in the bathtub with your babies, take a photo, show it off on Facebook and, why yes, then you are arrested for raping your children. This is the nightmare that happened to famed photographer Paul Rusconi, who has his photos in museums all over the world, and who has photographed celebrities like Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Tyra Banks, and even President Obama.
It's really difficult to believe this happened, but it did. Rusconi was accused of raping his 20-month-old girls after a nanny, who was a distant relative, and her husband, saw the photos. There was no other evidence. Rusconi was arrested, spent the night in jail, was released on a $220,000 bond. And, oh yeah, his girls were given to his accusers. Ey, yi, yi!
After a year, Rusconi has been cleared of all charges and his girls were given back him. He now plans to sue his accusers.
Rusconi says that he believes the accusers were motivated by homophobia -- Rusconi is gay and his girls were conceived with donor eggs and birthed by a surrogate. And there is no doubt that child molestation accusations are taken very seriously these days, and that is a good thing.
But I also think, in this case, there seems to have been some nakedaphobia at play. Two babies in a bathtub with their father should not be viewed as sexual. Look at the photo (above) if you don't believe me. Does that look sexual to you?!
I shudder to think where my mother would be today if the hundreds of photos of me in various states of undress when I was a kid ever got into malicious hands. For the first five years of my life, I basically refused to wear clothes. There is one memorable photo of me and my best friend, both naked, both about 5 years old, that my mother took as she looked down into an empty garbage can, where my friend and I were hiding.
Naked kids in a garbage can?!!! The horror, the horror!
What do you think about photos of naked kids?
Image via Paul Rusconi/KTLA