Feature

Mistaking bathtime photos for child pornography

Why Arizona parents Lisa and A.J. Demaree are suing the state and Wal-Mart

It's easy to distinguish a Kodak moment from kiddie porn, said Lenore Skenazy in Free Range Kids. But that didn't help an Arizona couple who asked Wal-Mart to develop a batch of photos that included some bathtime snapshots of their girls, who were then ages 5, 4, and 1. A Wal-Mart employee called police, the state took custody of the kids until the child pornography investigation was completed, and now, with good reason, the parents are suing.

There's another side to the story, said Dustin Gardiner in The Arizona Republic. The parents—Lisa and Anthony "A.J." Demaree—are also suing the town of Peoria, Ariz., but local officials say the police were just doing their job. Peoria says police had to investigate after the officer who filed the first report said "several of the pictures depicted close-up views of the girls' genitalia."

That's no excuse—the investigation should have stopped the second police saw the photos, said Dr. Logan Levkoff in The Huffington Post. And there's certainly no excuse for taking three little girls away from their parents—for more than a month!—and suggesting to Lisa and A.J. Demaree's friends and family that they're sex offenders. This horror story is chilling for parents—meanwhile, there are real child pornographers out there, but they "aren't getting their pictures developed at Wal-Mart."

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