Today in "the whole world is insane": Prosecutors and police in Manassas City, Virginia, have a warrant to photograph a 17-year-old's penis in hopes of convicting him as a sex offender for sending a dirty video to his 15-year-old girlfriend. The boy's lawyer tells the Washington Post that after he refused to plead guilty, prosecutors said they would need to "just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot, and then take the pictures that we need." Of his erect genitalia.
"This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before," says his attorney, Jessica Harbeson Foster. "Now he's saddled with two felonies and the implication that he's a sexual predator. I don't mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don't want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that's traumatizing."
The teen, who was reportedly turned in by his girlfriend's mother after the couple exchanged explicit photos and video, faces charges of possessing and manufacturing child pornography. He could be jailed until he turns 21 and end up on a sex-offender registry for life.
As if it weren't bad enough already, NBC Washington reports that police already photographed the boy's penis when they arrested him, according to his aunt:
"He said they took him to a room and took pictures of his genitalia,” Stacy Bigley said. “I asked if they’re allowed to do that, and [the 17-year-old] said, ‘I tried to refuse,’” which he did, he didn’t want to do it. They told him if he did not they would do it by force.”
As for the new warrant, the Post reports:
Despite the request by the prosecutor in court, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said that police told him “these allegations [by the lawyers] lack credibility.” He said he would look into the matter further.
The teenager's lawyer said prosecutors have said they will "use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis." She added, "Who does this? It's just crazy."
"They're using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner," said Carlos Flores Laboy, who was appointed by the court to be the boy's guardian. "The irony is incredible." And shameful.