• Sat, Mar 9 2013

Stop Taking Bathtub Pics Of Your Kids Because They Are Child Porn! Even Though They Aren’t!

shutterstock_48752428This is the worst. THE WORST! Well, it’s not the actual worst which probably involves death and other awful stuff but this is right up there with being the worst and so scary! I have a few pics of my kids in the bathtub at various ages in their lives. I never took these snaps anywhere to be developed and I am so glad I didn’t because ugh, this couple did and the WORST ensued! From ABC News:

 

In 2008, Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree took their three young daughters on a trip to San Diego. They returned home to Arizona and brought photos of their then 5, 4 and 1 1/2 year old daughters to a local Walmart in Peoria to be developed.

That should have been that, except instead of receiving 144 happy familial memories, Walmart employees reported the Demarees to the Peoria Police Department on the suspicion that they had taken pornographic images of their children. The police, in turn, called in the Arizona Child Protective Services Agency, and the couple lost custody of their daughters for over a month.

They were shocked. “Some of the photos are bathtime photos,” Lisa Demaree told ABC News at the time,  ”but there are a few after the bath. Three of the girls are naked, lying on a towel with their arms around each other, and we thought it was so cute.”

HOW AWFUL IS THAT? Because the vast majority of parents who take pics of their kids aren’t doing it because they are child molesters or pornographers, they are doing it because this is just what parents do! And to have your kids taken away for over a month? How awful and scary for the parents and their kids!

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the photographs were not, in fact, pornographic, and a medical exam revealed no signs of sexual abuse. The girls were returned to their parents.

But the damage had been done: The couple’s named went on a central registry of sex offenders, and “We’ve missed a year of our children’s lives as far as memories go,”  Demaree told ABC News.

This is just heartbreaking, especially when you consider how many actual pedophiles and child porn mongers are out there. I’m all for reporting instances of suspected child abuse when there is an actual indication of a case of child abuse, but if these parents were abusing their kids would they really be so stupid to take their pics to WalMart to be developed?

In 2009, the couple sued the city of Peoria and the State Attorney General’s office for defamation. They also sued Walmart for failing to tell them that they had an “unsuitable print policy” and could turn over photos to law enforcement without the customer’s  knowledge.

A federal judge in Phoenix sided with Walmart, ruling that employees in Arizona cannot be held liable for reporting suspected child pornography. The Demarees appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and on March 6 the court held a hearing before three judges.“The photos involved were simple childhood nudity,” the family’s lawyer, Richard Treon, told ABC News. He argued that Walmart committed fraud on its customers by not disclosing that employees would look at their photographs. Nor did customers know that employees could take photos they found offensive to their boss, who could then call the police.

There is no word on when the appeals will take place but I feel so bad for this family. 

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  • chickadee

    You know, my ex-husband worried that the naked pictures I took of our eldest might be interpreted as ‘wrong’ back in (mumble year long ago mumble stone ages)..and she was hilarious, which is why I took the damned pictures in the first place. There’s one where she’s about a year old and she just had a bath and was running happily away from the diaper I was holding and her belly is all baby-rounded and she’s shoving her baby gym around like a walker. This picture is like the Pulitzer Prize of baby pictures. And there are at least a dozen bath pictures that are similarly awesome. People suck.

  • Blueathena623

    I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it feels odd to be that its apparently wrong for a parent to take pictures of her kid, but its ok for an employee to be looking at them and showing them to his/her boss. Again, I know that doesn’t make sense, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

  • Lastango

    This sort of thing was in the news 10 or 15 years ago, back when more people took photos needed to be developed. Because (from what I read) it hasn’t been happening a lot lately, people might not be aware of this trap.
    “But the damage had been done: The couple’s named went on a central registry of sex offenders.”
    That’s exactly right. Officialdom will go apeshit at the smallest opportunity. Trying to clear one’s name laters borders on impossible. Police, school officials, child protective services, and other players in the system have a career interest in perpetuating a system that destroys ordinary citizens. That’s why it happens.

    • Sundaymorningsoapbox

      Cps does not want your kids. I can guarantee they aren’t sitting around brainstorming ways to take them from you.

      Sex registry if they did nothing wrong? Yeah, that’s wrong. Except that the process isn’t hotline call then immediate removal for a month. The claims have to be substantiated. Then there are lawyers and judges involved. All of that happens within three days. So if they were clearly innocent any attorney would win that argument.

      How is it that they missed out on over a year of their kids lives if the children were only removed for a month?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      As a mom if anyone even took my kids away fro a few days I would be devastated! and I am sure that CPS doesn’t want the kids, but when something like this happens it’s really awful, and makes you think that maybe they need to be more concerned with actual abuse than parents just taking pics, like all parents do.

    • Sunday morning soapbox

      Agreed, if this is only about innocent pictures removal was an overreaction. I’m questioning if it is really as black and white as they say. I know the system. There are protections in place. They may have failed but there could also be more to it.

  • lea

    Why are people so obsessed with sexualising everything? I think the person who thought these photos were a problem needs to get themselves some help for their clear sexual hang ups. For the last time, wowsers, nudity does not equal pornography!

  • Diana

    Doesn’t this kind of crap make it harder for people tracking genuine pedophiles to do their jobs?

  • LaLa

    One of the worst parts ( to me at least) it that is ridiculous situation ended up causing these children to examined for sexual abuse. And yes, that means exactly what you think it means. And these kids had no frame of reference for that. It’s not like you take your five year old to a gynecologist. The investigation for sexual abuse pretty much caused sexual abuse. And who knows how much mental trauma. Horrible!!

  • me

    My mum’s friend used to work in a photography shop with a woman who would refuse to develop anything with just a hint of nudity in. She even tried calling the police over several lots of pictures, I think they had to fire her in the end because she was causing too much trouble

  • Yves

    Print out any bathtime pictures on photo paper at home. Avoid any stupid hourly workers who can’t clearly see a picture for what it is. Poor family!