Virginia police back off plan to photograph teen’s genitals
McLEAN, Va. — Amid a public outcry, police in Virginia have backed off their attempts to force a 17-year-old to allow them to photograph his genitals.
The teen, whose name was not released, stands accused of producing child pornography for allegedly exchanging naked pictures with his 15-year-old girlfriend, the Associated Press reported.
Police obtained a warrant allowing them to take photos of the teen’s erect penis so they could compare them against photos he is accused of sending to the girl.
A prosecutor allegedly made a comment saying “we just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need,” according to the Washington Post.
However, police and prosecutors faced a wave of criticism after media stories about the case. Privacy advocates criticized the plan as a violation of the teen’s constitutional rights, as well as a violation of the same child porn laws the boy is accused of breaking.
On Thursday, Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said the Police Department will reconsider, and let a search warrant authorizing the photos to expire.
Manassas City Manager Patrick Pate told the AP his city was being portrayed unfairly by the media, though he did acknowledge that the warrant was real and technically allows police to take the photos by force if needed.