On Thursday, police in Virginia decided to back off their efforts of taking a sexually explicit photo of a 17-year-old to prove a sexting case against him, according to The Associated Press.
After media reports, police and prosecutors faced a storm of criticism that they acquired a warrant to take pictures of the teenager’s erect penis. Police wanted to compare the photos to the ones he has been accused of sending to his 15-year-old girlfriend.
Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said that the department will not go ahead with the plan to take the pictures. He said the department will let the search warrant expire.
A statement from Manassas Police Chief Douglas Keen said, “the decision to pursue prosecution or not lies with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and not the Police Department.”
The teenager, who has not been identified, was charged in juvenile court with felony counts of possession and manufacture of child pornography. The teen’s legal guardian, his aunt, says that the charges are overblown. She also said the idea to take pictures of her nephew’s erection only came about when he refused to accept a plea deal in the case.
Rebecca Glenberg is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. Glenberg said that the photos would have raised questions surrounding the constitution.
“People have a constitutional right to control their bodies,” said Glenberg.