A middle school teacher in Meridian, Idaho was caught with cartoon images of children engaged in sex acts on his computer and now faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. According to the Idaho Statesman:
Boisean Steve Kutzner, 33, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Note the fact that he is being charged under obscenity laws rather than child porn which require that the material portray actual children. Child porn laws are designed to protect children whereas obscenity laws can target any material deemed to be sufficiently offensive.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said investigators determined that his IP address had been used to share child pornography in a peer-to-peer file-sharing network in October 2008. After a forensic investigation of his computer in August last year, agents found 70 cartoon images of minors engaging in sexual explicit conduct. Many of the images depicted characters from the TV show “The Simpsons.”
Notice the ease with which they substitute the more inflammatory term, “child pornography” in the story. Anti-sex crusaders rarely let ethics stand in the way of their mission.
So, to summarize, the images do not satisfy the legal definition of child pornography and no children were victimized by anyone. This is pretty much a case of “we prosecuted him because we can”.
The obscenity exemption to First Amendment is a Supreme Court fabrication to justify censorship of unpopular expression and it has a long history of abuse. The supposition that the First Amendment is only meant to protect expression that isn’t too offensive is so illogical as to be ludicrous. The very fact that the public buys into such nonsense suggests an utter lack of appreciation for their rights.
Of course, one could make an argument that someone who looks at such material shouldn’t be permitted to teach, but we must keep in mind that he was not charged with any offense against a child nor is there any mention of any such concerns. Furthermore, if looking at cartoon images of children makes someone unfit to teach children, does looking at adult porn make someone unfit to teach adults? In any case, this isn’t about getting a questionable teacher out of the classroom. Simply firing him would have accomplished that. No, this goes way beyond that. This is about intentionally destroying a person’s life for simply looking at the wrong cartoons.
This story is nothing but another example of how laws originally sold as a means to protect children have become perverted into an opportunity to torture someone for not submitting to a cultural conformity defined by moral crusaders to whom rights are of no importance.
We can all breath a little easier tonight knowing that, Wendy Olson, the U.S. Attorney for Boise, Idaho has saved the United States from the terrible destructive scourge of cartoon sex. I’m sure Wendy is quite pleased with how this will look on her resumé.