It's a sad world where people can't tell the difference between some innocent bathtime photos and child pornography -- but that seems to be the world we live in, folks. Exercise precaution before you take photos of your kids running around in the buff -- especially if you plan on getting those photos developed at Walmart, which has an "unsuitable print policy." This basically means that photos they find to be unacceptable or criminal can be reported to authorities. And in the case of a couple from Arizona who took pics of their freshly bathed kids -- it meant sex offender status and having their kids taken away from them.
It was 2008 when the couple, A.J. and Lisa Demaree, were reported for taking eight pics of their three kids, ages 5, 4, and 1 1/2, after bathtime. Later, Lisa told ABC News:
Three of the girls are naked, lying on a towel with their arms around each other, and we thought it was so cute.
Apparently Walmart didn't think it was so cute. The Demarees were reported to police. After authorities investigated and found more photos of the kids naked, the couple lost custody of their children for a month, and they were forced onto a sex offenders list. Lisa was also suspended from her teaching job for a YEAR!
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The couple were later found innocent of all charges. But they're suing Walmart for consumer fraud not advertising its "unsuitable print policy" in stores (it is on the website). Initially, the case was dismissed because Arizona law grants immunity to those who report child abuse without malice. The Demarees are appealing to a higher court.
Reporting child abuse is a very tough thing -- and no one wants to feel that they may be open to a lawsuit if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. So I can understand why the Demarees aren't getting anywhere -- yet.
But is it really so difficult to tell the difference between child porn and innocent bathtime photos taken by parents? I'm baffled that not one person -- not the store employees, not the police, not child protective services -- could tell the difference?! Am I missing something here?! This isn't the first time a parent's life has been torn apart because of innocent bathtime photos. I mean ... watch the video. Do those photos remotely look like porn?!
I haven't seen all of the photos that were in question -- nor have I ever seen child porn, thank god -- but I have a hard time believing that not one person here let common sense prevail until long after the kids were taken from their parents and their parents were entered into a sex offenders list. Have we all gone mad?
I suppose the best thing for parents to do is never EVER take naked pics of their kids -- or pics of their kids in the bath, or anything. Which is absurd. I mean, what's next? Someone in my Facebook feed just posted a pic of his toddler son sitting on the toilet -- it was funny because he was also reading his iPad. Could he get arrested? Where do you draw the line? Insanity.
Do you take naked pics of your kids?
Image via PhotoMonkey/Flickr