Pennsylvania teen faces two years in jail for Facebook photo of "desecration"

A 14-year-old in Everett, Pennsyltucky Pennsylvania has been charged with "Desecration of a Venerated Object" and faces up to two years in a juvenile facility after posting this photo on Facebook.

Teen May Get 2 Years For Pic Of Fake Oral Sex With Jesus (PHOTO) [HuffPost]

The relevant [?] state law [which has no place in a secular government that purports to uphold freedom of expression!] defines "desecration" as "Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise, physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action."

JT Eberhard at WWJTD notes:

So let’s say an adult (subject to harsher penalties than minors) elected to spray paint “Jesus loves dicks” on the side of this boy’s school.  That guy, at most (... for people with previous criminal records ...), would serve a year in jail – and that’s assuming the cost of having the wall re-painted exceeds $150 ...

But a 14 year-old does something stupid that causes literally zero property damage and he could face two years in juvenile jail because it’s a “venerated object”?  That’s insane.  That’s really ludicrous.

If he had spray-painted the statue, I’d be all for charging him.  If he had done any damage, he should be punished in accordance with the damage done.  Hell, I even think a slap on the wrist for trespassing could be appropriate.  But fucking with a kid’s life for being immature ... is petty, vindictive bullshit.  This law about venerated objects needs to be challenged and unmade, and I hope this case can be a vehicle for that.

(ellipses and emphases mine)

Views: 435

Replies to This Discussion

If they have the financial means, they should fight the living hell out of this and in doing so, state exactly WHY this crap about "Desecration of a Venerated Object" is such a load of cow turds.  I mean seriously, no damage done, yet the status of a THING is rated about that of a HUMAN BEING?

Someone in Pennsylvania needs to be woken up ... with a bullhorn if necessary!

"Venerated" is up there with "holy" and "sacred."  They all effectively mean: "Hands OFF!"  No touching, no mocking and no questioning.

Sorry, but I'll question, mock, and touch as I please.

I'm having Catholic-priest flashbacks ...

"Tits on a nun" is a more common phrase ... strangely, in use by Catholics, more than any other group, I think.  Apparently, there's a lot of convent romance going on, though, so the nuns seem to be getting a bit of use out of their metaphors, as well.

I'm sure the priests got a bit of a thrill, when told about that.  I always wondered what that weird, heavy-breathing sound was.

First of all, it seems like this statement of the law is missing a direct object.

That portion is just the definition of terms.  The actual statement of the violation is probably elsewhere in the statute.

What the hell does venerated even mean? Not by me it ain't!

That becomes part of the problem, doesn't it?  How do you even get this admitted into evidence, without violating the first amendment?

Okay, so we want to protect every object venerated by anyone at all?  Yeah, we totally won't have anyone abusing that interpretation.

The photo could be considered in poor taste but aren't all FB photos. Doesn't this state have better things use its courts for than fucking with a teenager? That the charge was brought is offensive. Other than that it's pretty funny.

How many times have I said it, Pat?

No one, No One, NO ONE Has The Right NOT To Be Offended!

Sadly, if this thing gets shut down, as it should, the religious-right will probably turn it around and try to use it to get anti-bullying laws struck down ... because direct, personal abuse intended to terrorize a specific person is absolutely the same as something like this.

Lets see..........    I think you've said it 5281 times, including this time.

But it needs to be repeated until the tyrants are defeated.  

Physically mistreating?  What the hell?  I mean, if he had caused damage, sure.  Then a fine and some community service would be perfectly appropriate.  The sensibilities phrasing is also kind of fucked.

This thing needs to be taken to a higher court, where the law can be struck down.  Let us know when this thing gets anywhere in the courts, if this doesn't get thrown out right away.  If there are any sane judges in the jurisdiction, it won't even see an actual trial.

Apparently this same pillar of the community a few years ago had a little difference of opinion with a young woman over whether or not sex they had in his office was entirely consensual. His colleagues handled the case, of course. They said that they "disproved" the rape complaint because they couldn't find enough evidence to prosecute. I don't know what their definition of disproved is, but unless there was a transcript of the tryst, I find disproving a rape very hard to believe.
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