Naked baby photos are a tradition and treasured keepsake for many families, which is a main reason state child pornography laws include exemptions to protect parents. The broad nature of those protections are being abused in some cases though, warns state Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown).
The Watertown Republican says law enforcement approached him with the case of a registered sex offender living in his district who had been released and was on monitoring. He had been caught secretly recording his minor daughter while she was naked but, because of the way the law is currently written and the fact that the content was not overtly sexual, prosecutors were unwilling to charge him under child pornography statutes.
Jagler says the state Department of Justice has indicated the case is just one of many that have popped up around the state. He’s proposing a bill he hopes will prevent similar scenarios in the future. “That exemption would still be there, but it would say if your intent or use of these photos is for sexual gratification…that gives prosecutors a tool that they can use to charge.”
Jagler admits its a fine line to walk and insists he’s not “coming after your naked baby photos.” However, he says prosecutors need the ability to go after people who are clearly taking advantage of current law to protect behavior that’s sexually abusive.