Judge: “Serious Issues” In PA “Sexting” Case


A federal judge said yesterday that “serious constitutional issues” were raised in a lawsuit filed by three teenage girls and their mothers against a Pennsylvania prosecutor attorney who threatened to arrest the students on pornography charges after seminude photographs of them appeared on other students' cellphones, reports the New York Times. “It seems like the children seemed to be the victims and the perpetrators here,” said Judge James Munley in Scranton, Pa., to an attorney for Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick. “How does that make sense?”

Defense lawyer A. James Hailstone, said state law “doesn't distinguish between who took the picture and who was in it.” Munley will not rule until next week on a request by a lawyer for the girls and their mothers for a temporary restraining order forbidding Skumanick from filing the charges, which they contend are retaliation for the parents asserting their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to oppose his deal. Twenty students from the Tunkhannock Area School District in northeastern Pennsylvania have been either caught with a cellphone containing photos of nude or seminude students or were identified in such photos.

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