A couple in Arizona had their three children taken away from them for taking partially nude bathtime photos of their kids. The couple was never charged with any crime and did get their children back. They are now suing the state and the Walmart that turned their photos over to the police.
“A Peoria couple is suing Walmart and the state after they were accused of sexual abuse for taking bathtime photos of their daughters, according to court papers.”
“Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree’s three young daughters were taken away by state Child Protective Services last fall when a Wal-Mart employee found partially nude pictures of the girls on a camera memory stick taken to the store for processing, the lawsuit claims.”
“Walmart turned the photos over to police and the Demarees were not allowed to see their children for several days and did not regain custody for a month while the state investigated, according to their lawyer, Richard Treon.”
Their lawyer said the images were part of 144 photos taken mostly on the family’s vacation to San Diego. He said there were seven to eight bath- and playtime photos of the girls that showed a “portion or outline or genitalia.”
At the time the girls were 5, 4 and 1 ½.
“Neither parent was charged with sexual abuse and they regained custody of their children, but the Demarees say the incident inflicted lasting harm.”
I haven’t seen these particular photos, but it seems to me that some common sense needed to be exercised by the police. I understand if Walmart found it necessary (to protect themselves) to turn over the photos. However, did the children really need to be taken away from the parents while the photos were examined? How much examination could it have needed? How traumatizing for the parents and the children to be separated! It makes you wonder what else your children could be taken away for?
What do you think: Are run-of-the-mill bathtime photos child pornography? How do you judge? What crosses the line (keep it clean people or they’ll shut us down)? Did the police do the right thing taking the children away? Could it have been examined without going to that extreme? Did Walmart do the right thing turning the photos over? Do the parents have a case against the state or against Walmart?