ACLU suing overzealous sexting prosecutor

Parents of three teenage girls and the ACLU are suing a Pennsylvania prosecutor who threatened to bring child pornography charges against the girls unless they agreed to probation and counseling. The complaint filed by the ACLU explains:

In February 2009, [DA] Skumanick sent a letter to the parents of approximately twenty Tunkhannock students, including the ACLU’s clients, threatening the students with criminal felony charges if they did not agree to be placed on probation and participate in a counseling program he devised. A course outline indicates that the program will help the girls “[g]ain an understanding of how [their] actions were wrong,” “gain an understanding of what it means to be a girl in today’s society,” and “[i]dentify non-traditional societal and job roles.”

The complaint also argues that the photos in question don’t fit child pornography laws and that if convicted, the girls would be required to register as sex offenders if the state adopts the guidelines of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act by the July 2009 deadline to retroactively include all offenders over age 14 on the registry.

More info at Daily Kos, ACLU, and a Reuters story. The US District Court hearing is today.

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