Megan’s Law Mom Says “Stop”

March 29, 2009 : Don’t treat kids who post sexy photos as sex offenders, says Megan’s Law mom.

As a 14 year old girl awaits trial for sex crimes after posting naked photos of herself on MySpace, Maureen Kanka, the force behind the creation of Megan’s Law, is speaking out. Kanka does not want teens who take photos of themselves naked to be turned into sex offenders by overzealous prosecutors.

In New Jersey this week, a 14 year old girl was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, as well as distribution of child pornography, after she took naked photos of herself and posted them on the social networking site, MySpace. Her intention was to share them with her boyfriend. Investigators suggest the girl “knowingly” committed a crime by posting the photos, although they won’t say anything more while the investigation continues. The 14 year old girl could face 17 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. The girl is now in the custody of her mother.

According to an Associated Press report published in the Seattle Times, Kanka, also a New Jersey resident, is horrified with the way prosecutors are using the law created in her daughter’s name. Kanka’s daughter, Megan, was raped and killed at age 7 by a twice-convicted sex offender. Megan’s Law, which came about after the horrific crime, requires sex offenders to register in every community they live in and to list their offenses on job applications. Kanka is angry that children who post naked photos of themselves are being charged as sex offenders using Megan’s Law.

Prosecutors shouldn’t be treating these girls as sex offenders, even if they want to send a message to other kids. The other kids won’t get the message- teens believe themselves invincible. Why ruin a child’s entire life over a stupid photo? (Yeah, she only wants to ruin the lives of adults who make a mistake!)

Perhaps Ms. Kanka should join us in our fight to reform these laws…

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