Bath Time Photos Prompt Child Porn Allegations

kids in tubThis thing seems very silly to me. I think it’s one of the times I think to myself that as time goes on, things just go to far and get to carried away. This story was on Good Morning America and quite frankly, it makes me sick.

Apparently a Walmart employee was developing photo’s and came across these photo’s of kids playing in the bathtub and called the police with concerns of child pornography.

First of all, I feel someone went from A-Z without any of the steps in between. Here is a quote from the story. “The Peoria, Ariz., couple had their home searched by police and worse, their children — then ages 18 months, 4 and 5 — were taken from them for more than month. Their names were placed on a sex offender registry for a time, and Lisa Demaree was suspended from her school job for a year. The couple said they have spent $75,000 on legal bills.” I can’t even imagine what this family has gone through right off the bat with no checking into things first. Talk about jumping the gun.

Okay, I’d be the first person to get behind a child who was being hurt or worse. But I hope nobody comes and looks in my boys baby books because there are plenty of cute little tush pictures. I’m really having a hard time with this. First of all I think “oh ya, I’m sexually abusing my kids so I’m going to take my pictures to Walmart for developing?” REALLY?? This story holds no water for me and I just don’t get it.

I do know that this is a true fact of life. I know I’ve seen younger people I know take pics of their kids in the tub or maybe not all the way dressed and they cover up the “indecent” parts. I didn’t know there were indecent parts on a child. I also think it’s become the norm and I think it’s sad. Why should we have to live as if guilty of something and not be able to take a cute photo of our own child? Sometimes I just feel as things progress, they degrees.

What’s your take on all this? Do you think things should have been checked out better first or do you feel it was right to remove these children from their home first? I feel someone jumped the gun big time.

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20 Responses to Bath Time Photos Prompt Child Porn Allegations

  1. trishatruly says:

    I heard this story too, Joy and it made me sick to think that someone could take someone’s children away from them for this! FOR A YEAR!

    I don’t know what I would have done if this had happened to me. I probably would have been locked up in jail for a long time because I would have tried to kill anyone who stood between me and my children for that long.

    How dare they??

    I hope those parents get a huge amount of money when they sue Walmart and their state government which allowed this to take place.

  2. SKL says:

    Well, first of all, I always wonder if we are getting the whole story. Did these parents have anything else going on, or did they have a prior record? Were there some photos that haven’t been released to the public that really were strange? Was additional evidence found in the search of the home?

    I don’t know exactly what Wal-Mart’s role was in this, but I do not believe anyone should be sued or attacked for showing a questionable photo to the police. Obviously it is going to be a subjective matter whether a given photo is objectionable. I don’t expect Wal-Mart employees to be educated in child porn. It’s the cops’ job to decide whether the photos warranted further inquiry.

    Frankly, I believe it is a responsible policy to ask photo developers to report photos that raise concerns in their opinion. Some child sex offenders have been caught that way. I’d rather throw a wide net when it comes to stuff like that. Again, it’s up to the cops to decide how to proceed, but if Wal-Mart is afraid to report any photos, then some cases of true abuse are going to be missed.

    Now, I’m not a cop, but I assume they would have reviewed the pictures and run some sort of check on the parents and the house address. I think they would have had to ask a judge for a warrant to search the house – and judges are experts on what constitutes reasonable cause to search without violating the Fourth Amendment. Then you presumably have child welfare authorities and maybe a second judge making a determination to remove the kids. I find it hard to believe that all of these people completely lost their mind at the same time and place.

    But even if that were the case, it’s not Wal-Mart’s fault in any way. There is a public backlash against Wal-Mart, but that is just part of the overall union-led Wal-Mart bashing trend. Like a union employee would have automatically had a higher IQ and a more liberal view on pictures of naked kids?

    • Joy says:

      I would really like to say that I don’t blame Walmart. I blame the authorities who rushed in to this extreme. I feel it was just way over the top for a few photo’s of kids playing in a tub.

      • SKL says:

        But upon reading the linked story, it sounds like they had a lot of pictures and videos of their kids naked in various situations/poses together all around the house. It raised suspicions. I am not saying it was right to take the kids away, but I also don’t think it’s true what this parent says that “every parent has these same photos.” Most of us don’t have our preschoolers regularly running naked together throughout the house as we follow them with a camera. In my opinion, they should have realized that.

  3. Laura says:

    I actually had this start to happen to me… I took some pictures in to Target to be developed. This was way back in the “film” days, when you HAD to have someone develop them for you. When I went back to pick up my pictures – ones of Josh taking a bath, I think, and none of his ‘bits’ were exposed – the clerk handed them to me and said, “I’m giving them to you this time, because I’ve seen you in here before, but I have to warn you that if we see any more naked child pictures, we’ll have to report them to the police as child porn.”

    I was FLOORED. Absolutely freaked out. Honestly, it’s a good thing those people didn’t see the pictures that my folks took of me!! There are plenty of naked-kid pics, even one of me, when I was around 2, with tennis balls in my bathing suit and a “Miss America” sash on. And frankly (even if I do say so) they’re cute as all get-out. And there’s nothing sick about them. It was a couple of parents (mine), goofing around with their kid (me). And in my case, it was me taking some pictures of my kid being really cute in the bathtub. What, I’m not supposed to look?

    Now, I can see SKL’s point, and agree. I know that some creeps have been caught this way, and it’s a first line of defense. I also know that there are lots of steps that should have been addressed all the way up the line before this house was entered and the children removed. And either there’s more to this story that we’re not hearing, or there are some police officers and judges that are going to have some serious questions to answer.

    BUT…I also think that if we’re going to rely on the teenagers at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, et al, they should have some training about what constitutes “child porn” and how to differentiate between it a “baby being so cute that you can’t help but take a picture”.

  4. Tosha says:

    I had a big long reply typed out but then my browser decided on its own to reload and after throwing a fit I decided to come back and attempt this again..

    now..

    This is something i get a bit miffed about. I’m going to bite my tongue and do my damnedest to not let lose the string of profanities that normally accompany this subject when i talk about it..

    See society over time has gotten a bit wonky in how they deal with stuff like this. With my history i’m all bout protecting the kids and keeping them from harm. I’ll stand up in a heart beat and go against the biggest jerkoff out there when it comes to protecting a child. BUT sometimes its carried a bit too far.

    This isnt the first case like this and it most likely will not be the last. All too often we see innocent people strung up by their toes and their insides laid bare for the world to gaze upon and condemn when the guilty run free and continue to prey.. yeah a bit dramatic you think? Nope not nearly enough.. I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes..

    Some close friends of mine went through something like this but not as severe. Short side of the story.. My friend has 2 boys. Ages 2 & 4 at the time this happened. She took pics of them playing in the tub. She took the roll of film to the store to be developed and not days later CPS (child protective services) showed up at her door with officers in hand. They yanked the kids out of her home put them with relatives(thank goodness) and told her she wasn’t allowed to have ANY contact with her children for the time being. Her home was searched her friends and family (including neighbors) questioned. I know this because I was one of those questioned. Her entire world came crashing down at her feet. Her innocence laid out for our community to analyze and draw conclusions on with the half truths that the media provided them with. She was condemned by her peers for doing something that most parents out there have done. She took pics of her kids playing in the tub. INNOCENTLY. Did you know that doing something as innocent as snapping a photo of your kids playing could get you lumped in with pedophiles and have people accuse you of trying to distribute child pornography? yeah she didnt either. She only did what her mother had done to her as a child. She only wanted to keep pictures of their childhood and their playful-ness so that they’d have them when they got older. Now her entire world was turned upside down because she snapped 2.. yes TWO pictures of her children in the tub and took the roll to get developed. Not only did they invade her life and put her out on display for the public to humiliate (and yes it was a very humiliating experience even though she did nothing wrong. She had to withstand everyone’s judgment against her no matter how unfounded or wrong it was.. It hurt her like hell) but not only did she go through all that.. but that entire roll of pictures. The ones that also included her sons 2nd birthday party.. She never got those back. They kept them as evidence even though there was nothing there. She fought like hell against the system and eventually got her kids back and her name cleared but do you think its ever been the same for her since? Do you think she’s the same person she was before this happened? No far from it.. And the stress from the situation.. is partially to blame for her marriage crumbling shortly after.. Not everyone makes it out unscathed.. I’m willing to bet no one in this kind of situation makes it out unscathed.. Damn sure not the children. Even now her kids are so scared they are going to be taken from her they wont even go stay the night at a family or friends house.

    Most of us.. Have had our pics taken while we were in the tub. Most of our baby books contain pics like that. INNOCENT pictures. It ticks me off to no end because in our fight to protect we have taken away so much. I’ve seen it one too many times where innocence is attacked while the guilty ignored. I mean my family knew this child who was being abused. BAD the signs were there. the kid was constantly covered in bruises. If you offered him food it was like he was starving all the time yet he was terrified to reach out and take the food from you. Or he’d decline and seem scared if he did take it he’d get into trouble. CPS never did a damn thing for him. They’d go to his house and claim all was well and close the case. They’d been called atleast 4 times that I know of personally and they’d done NOTHING for this child. It wasnt until one baseball season that this child passed out and when he came too he was freaking out. A friend of ours took him home with her, had him call his mom and ask her if he could stay the night with a friend. She of course didnt give a flying __.. But our friend fed this kid convinced him to let her look at him and she saw he was literally COVERED in bruises. All along his back and ribs. None on his arms or legs.. Our friend called her uncle who was a cop and had him come out. This little boy (he was 8) was terrified. Apparently his mom told him that if he told anyone about all of it.. that they’d take him from her and no one would want him or love him and he’d live in a place where they would do much worse to him that she ever did. See.. the system failed that little boy for a very long time. It was obvious to those of us from the outside just watching this child interact with others that he was hurt and that someone was abusing him but CPS hey they let that go.. But take a pic of your child playing in the tub.. they’ll damn sure rip a happy child out of a happy home..

    now I realize this is generalizations and both these circumstances are kinda extreme.. But really.. the picture thing.. its been in the news more than a few times now so how extreme can it really be? It happens.. Its sickening almost. I get it.. how do you go after the guilty with out a few innocent getting mixed up in the process.. How do you protect the innocent with out condemning a whole? There are fine lines there to cross and the line gets blurry at some points. But really.. can’t a picture just be a picture? Not today… By today’s standards all of our parents would be wanted for intent to distribute child pornography and for creating child pornography.. By today’s standards.. you are guilty until proven innocent.. It’s not the other way around.. Atleast its that way when you are actually innocent.. Now.. a rapist.. he’s innocent until proven guilty.. And on the rare chance that he’s convicted.. he’s let out before his time is up.. Lets not forget the times when their identity is protected for their well being..

    sorry.. i know i went way off base here..but like I said.. i was trying to bite my tongue.. its something close to home.. on many levels..

  5. mssc54 says:

    First and foremost is the safety and welfare of the children. The challenge is, how do we best protect them?

    I think the hourly employee at Wal-Mart did the right thing. Imagine if this would have turned out to be something unthinkable.

    I think, as a parent, the knee jerk reaction would be to be really ticked off. However, that does not help in a situatio like this. If their reaction was one of “How dare you! I am their mommy/daddy! We can do no wrong! Now we are the victim!” That is likely the same reaction a pedofile would have. On the other hand if their was, “Gosh, I never thought of it that way. Now that you bring it to our attention we can certainly understand why someone on the outside could view this with concern. I do appreciate you taking our children’s safety and wellbing seriously. What can we do to help ease any suspicions?” That would be very hard to do under these circumstances but it would be the best way to react.

    Now don’t even get me started on Child Protection Services! Okay, I’m started. First of all they are all over worked and undersupervised. It is easier for them to just go through the motions then actually THINK about something. Some field agents are good and some are just plain bad. Like any other government agency if you get a bad one it’s virtually impossible to get rid of them.

    It appears that if there is any “fault” it lyes with Law Enforcement. It should have been a simple matter to look at those pictures and determine if they were Child Porn. However I think the definition of Child Porn is much like pornography. I can’t really tell you what it is but I know it when I see it.

    In the end it seems like (most) things worked the way they should have. Getting their children in less than a month is lightening fast for CPS!

    Finally I think the parents should pursue a claim with their home owners insurance company for their legal funds.

    • Tosha says:

      yep getting the children back in a month is super fast. my friend was with out hers for over 6 months. CPS is ridiculous. Needed but also very ridiculous. On so many of these cases it should be as simple as looking at the “evidence” or lack there of and shutting the case.. but again i stand by my statement that one too many times the innocent are condemned while the guilty roam free..

  6. Sue says:

    You know, I took a second look at the picture and I will bet that if the BOY wasn’t in the tub with the girls, none of this would have happened. I bathed with my sister all the time when I was little, but I have to say I don’t ever remember her taking pictures of us. This picture seems innocent enough, but like someone stated above, we don’t know what the other pictures looked like (if there are any) and what the rest of the story is. Something made the courts decide there was more to investigate and we’ll probably never know what it was. With that said, we should still be able to capture our children’s cute/precious/youthful moments without worrying if someone is going to break down our door.

  7. nikki says:

    Oh my do you know how many photos I have of Bailey sitting on his big boy potty in front of of the TV?? And how many photos I have of him in the tub….
    It’s sad that horrible monsters prevent us from having those special moments….
    I think the system can either be one extreme or the other. I appreciate that they put children first for the most part. It also has failed big time. I don’t really know what to say that hasn’t already been said here. I think it’s s ad situation and I hope like hell that those parents were honest and only cherishing the little moments…and those poor kids were put through hell for nothing…that’s what I hope. Who really knows though. The most decent person on the outside can very well be a monster behind closed doors. The system isn’t fool proof I know we all wished it was…the truth is we just don’t know.
    Either way…it’s just sad!!

  8. Tessa says:

    If they are innocent, then this is really sad and I hope justice is served to the parents. People are so quick to find bad in others and judge without proof, it is so sad.

    Eric was scared of CPS taking Ben, so he does not want us to be very far from him in public because his coworker had CPS knock on his door for a spanking.

    But as Sue said, you never know what we are missing from the story. Either way, it is sad. Kids are precious, and good parents are too.

    • Tosha says:

      ^we did too (the cps thing for a spanking).. They came out looked around spoke to our children, talked to the school, the school nurses and closed the case. Told us that there was NOTHING to warrant an investigation (sure felt like an investigation to me considering my personal space was invaded and my kids school was questioned). but the case was closed. It took months. In our case it was ridiculous b/c there were no marks of abuse or any indication just our kid saying my husband had spanked her yet she showed no signs of abuse and the school had to by law call it in to CPS. They came to my house 1 time spoke to me and that was it. A few days later the call came through that the case was going 2 be closed but the actual paperwork took over 4 months. In our case the caseworker we had was wonderful and did her job and could easily see nothing amiss but even so I have very little respect for the agency.

  9. Just a Mom says:

    The gun was totally jumped in my opinion. Yes, maybe the parents should have been checked out but they should not of had their names put on the sex offenders list or lost their jobs. Needless to say the children should not have been removed.
    Just my little opinion. If it were me I would have been in the jail cell next to Trisha!

  10. Gary says:

    Someone jumped the gun on this BIGTIME! Photo processors are now supposed to do what this employee did so you can’t really blame him/her from doing their job. It’s sad that things have come to this over the years. Like everyone has said, we all have taken pictures similar to this with our own children and our parents took photos of us like this as children. Another case of the sicky weirdo’s ruining things for the rest of us.

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Why would they be placed on a sex offenders list without being proven guilty of any wrong doing. That’s RIDICULOUS!

  11. Jen @ FnF says:

    Most of my thoughts on this case have been well stated by everyone already…I think the whole situation is extreme…

    The one last piece though that REALLY nags me is the idea of the names of these parents appearing on the list of registered sex offenders. I hate the way our culture reacts to the sex offender registry. I’ve witnessed people move to our community while neighbors put up signs on their lawn telling them to leave, the press covers stories about their move into town, public meetings are held, and they are shunned by all.

    I’m not saying I support pedophiles….having been abused as a child myself I say far from it….BUT I do realize that there are names on that list of people that committed statuatory rape (even with the consent of their partner), or committed crimes that showed a lack of judgment but resulted in no harm. If a person kills someone and is released on parole, if they commit assault or a violent robbery we’re never notified…..I’d much rather know if someone capable of killing another human, or that might feel the need to assault me lives in my town….

    Why only when it comes to sex do we worry so much?

  12. Tony says:

    Good Grief!!! Everyone has photos of their kids in the bath when they were little. Total Stupidness

  13. avomnia says:

    I’m ashamed to be not only in the same state, but in the same metropolitan area.

    I could rant on this for quite some time, but a lot of cogent points have been made already. I’m all for protecting the kids, but I see this as yet another shimmering example of how political correctness is slowly killing us.

    C’mon people! This kind of stuff is at once saddening and maddening.

  14. shane says:

    I blame this idiotic wall-mart employee I mother/father are aloud to have photos of there children. Porn is when they are willingly doing it for money etc this family easily took this picture for future memories but the wal mart employee was probably some lonly guy who thought it had to be porn couse he didn’t have kids or a wife no way some won else could be happy with there children. The police were idiots as well. when the family sues wal mart and the government they will have a good case and get way more then what they lost but the time with there kids is unaffordable. Mostly the wal mart employee should have minded is own buisness and the police should have investigated.

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