Man charged with child sex abuse felony for video editing!

In a particularly egregious and self-humiliating act of mind-boggling legal insanity, the state of Michigan has arrested and charged a Muskegon man, Evan Emory, with ”manufacturing child sexual abusive material” – a major felony – for posting a YouTube video in which he spliced together scenes of himself singing a funny but sexually explicit song to an empty classroom, inter-cut with “reaction” video of 1’st graders who were actually listening to a completely different, G-rated song he’d recorded earlier. The resulting video he posted merely made it appear as if he was singing the explicit song to the kids.

If convicted, he faces up to a twenty year prison sentence!

If anyone still doubted it, this again makes it abundantly clear that American law is West and reason and justice are East, and never the twain shall meet. When it comes to running for office (regrettably, judges are also elected in Michigan, which explains a lot), a candidate who chooses a platform of “protecting” our children – which in actuality means nothing worthwhile at all and merely translates to an ever-increasing spiral of forcing ever greater sentences for ever more trivial and harmless “offenses” – is a sure winner with “think about the children!” conservative nutjobs, a very large segment of the population.

Here’s a link to a brief CBS News Online story of the case, and here’s a link to his YouTube page: Evan Emory Music

Note that the video in question has been removed, and I can’t find a copy anywhere.

While he did get permission from the elementary school to record the video of himself singing the G-rated song, I don’t know whether he also got permission to record the kids’ reaction. But even if he did, I agree with others – including Emory himself – who have commented that he exercised poor judgment and acted in bad faith by not telling the school the whole story of what he intended to do. Many have also claimed he should have gotten signed releases from the kids’ parents to use their images, but while that would certainly have been the ethical thing to do, I’m not sure if the law actually requires it.

But the ”manufacturing child sexual abusive material” felony charge represents an outrageously despicable new low for Michigan law, and that’s what I’m here to barbecue with relish and lots of Tabasco-soaked mesquite. According to the Muskegon County prosecutor in charge of the case, Tony Tague, Michigan law – quite horrifically and with utterly loathsome contempt for reason and fairness – doesn’t distinguish between images that actually feature child sexual abuse from those that merely appear to show nothing more than merely using sexually explicit language with children within earshot!

The mind reels! What ludicrously irrational bullshit!

Here’s a link to the statute reportedly involved: Michigan Section 750.145c

Now, I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t parsed through it all at length, but I can find no reference there to merely using sexually explicit language at all, let alone creating a video in which it only appears to be used in front of children.

Fuck you, Michigan legislators who voted for such an egregiously anti-rational and hate-fueled law, and fuck you too, Tony Tague for so cravenly bowing to pressure from those mindless, knee-jerk, over-sensitive “think of the children” cavity-headed uni-balled organgarglers!

I’m sure you would have similar reaction if one of the children clearly identifiable in that video was your own.

I’m pretty sure that “Sexually Abused” wouldn’t make the list of complaints if this was my kid.

So do you feel Evan Emory was sexually abusing an entire classroom full of children or are you just an idiot who didn’t read the OP?

So I’m guessing Kevin Smith had better stay out of Michigan. Or is Clerks now considered child pornography as well?

Video, spoilered due to NSFW audio:

Ah, the Appeal to Minority.

I’m not sure what’s in the video, but if it were my kid, she’d probably already have heard most of those words at home anyway.

I’m sure that this will not be the last fucking moronic defense of the state’s actions in this thread.

Always fun to hear from the mindless, knee-jerk, over-sensitive “think of the children” cavity-headed uni-balled organgargler community.

But to answer your implied question: Indeed it would be, and some of the parents I’ve seen interviewed agree with me that the real offender is the State of Michigan. Kids are always better off when their parents demonstrate the deep and genuine love involved in refusing to make a public spectacle of their children!

Nice point. And it works pretty much the same way – Jeff Anderson refused to read his lines in front of the kid, so it’s all just edited together to make it appear as though the kid is hearing it.

Gee, I never knew I was such a fan of kiddie porn.

I don’t really see what children were harmed here.

I tried to read the statute cited in the OP, but it’s a convoluted mess. However, I couldn’t find anything in there which would cover the video created by this guy, given the lack of apparent sexual activity on the part of the children. It would be interesting to see the actual charge(s), and how they link the video to an alleged breach of the law.

Children aren’t harmed when computer-generated child porn is produced. Children aren’t harmed when someone writes child-based sex stories. You can still go away for quite a long time for either one of them, though.

“Protecting children” doesn’t always have very much to do with making sure children aren’t harmed.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Would I be annoyed that he used video of my kid without my permission? Definitely.

Would I consider the kid to have been abused in any way? No. That’s ludicrous.

The statute appears to refer to any depiction that, among other things, “appears to include a child engaging in a listed sexual act”. Among the listed sexual acts is “Passive sexual involvement”, which is further defined.

So the charge does appear, to my non-lawyer eyes, to fall within the bounds of this statute, in that there is a depiction which appears to be of children engaging in an activity that is defined as passive sexual involvement. Maybe.

(bolding and italicizing mine).

It also appears that intent is important. Has this person said what his motivation was? Was he tweaking society’s concerns about children and sex? Was he selling this material to perverts? Was it just an exercise in moronitude? Enquiring minds, etc. etc.

The obsession with “protecting the children” is absolutely insane and out of control.

You bolded “sexual excitement”, but that term is defined in the statute:

I don’t think that is likely to have been depicted in the video, since the genitals are unlikely to have been shown.

Further to this point: It seems to be important to our government entities to do whatever it takes to curb traffic in anything that would seem to be erotically charged in the minds of kiddie diddlers or anyone of that ilk. Hence the illegality of the kinds of porn that Hal mentions here.

It is my opinion that this sort of law is going many a step too far, and this particular case is a good example of why. Yes, actual activities that actually harm children should be, and are, illegal. Activities and materials that only pretend to do so should be protected by the first amendment.

By the standard set by this law, a legislative body could decide that any depiction of murder should be illegal (because someone somewhere might get their jollies from watching it, as if it were a snuff film or something), rather than just the actual crime.

Good point, but I think it’s probably capable of being stretched to include listening to someone make lewd and graphical reference to sexual activities, which I gather is what the song was supposed to be like.

Cite? I remember the issues coming up somewhat recently and relevant arguments on both sides during the trial/appeal process–but I can’t remember the ultimate resolution. Do you have a cite for an upheld felony conviction of someone’s possession (and no other extenuating circumstances) of purely fictional prose? What about a similar cite for someone’s sketch pad getting them in trouble? Again, I remember these were somewhat recently in the air, but I don’t recall how they were settled.

Uh, what? I’m pretty sure both of those are legal. In the US, at least. I think the first may be teetering on the edge, legally, but there’s no way someone writing erotica featuring children is illegal.