In what is merely the most recent criminalization insanity to manifest in embarrassment of the US, two teenagers in Fayetteville, North Carolina have recently been charged with felonies for sexually exploiting themselves by having nude pictures of their own persons on their own phones. The male, 17, has been charged with exploitation of a minor and was prosecuted as an adult for his "selfies". He subsequently agreed to subject himself to a year of warrantless searches, which somehow has been found by the courts circus to not constitute self-exploitation. His girlfriend, 16, took a plea bargain, which entailed a $200 fine, 30 hours of community service, the inability to use a cell phone for one year, mandatory attendance at a "class in making good decisions", and an "order to stay in school and refrain from using drugs and alcohol". Following his girlfriend's state-mandated metamorphosis from a normal, sexually curious teenager to the passive victim of local mores well out of touch with reality, the male involved in the case accepted a "similar" plea bargain.
Despite guffaws from various criminal justice and psychology academics who described the case as "ludicrous", it appears nobody directly involved in the matter, either at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office which brought the charges, at Douglas Byrd High School overseen by Principal Daniel J. Krumanocker, Jr, or amongst the teens' own families or ostensible legal representatives had the wherewithal or decency to help the youths sue for the right to possess images of their own bodies. As part of a reprehensible national tendency to forward-and-forget such stories, much like last week's arrest of a teen in Texas for bringing a clock to school, the plight of the North Carolina teens seems unlikely to dislodge incompetent, intellectually bankrupt lawmakers and enforcers from their seats. Instead, the ordeal serves as a sad addition to the monumental pile of legal absurdity plaguing the "land of the free".