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)

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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!

>"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."

First of all, it seems like this statement of the law is missing a direct object. I'd love to see the courtroom drama around proving that an object is "venerated." (Miracle on 34th Street all over again.) What the hell does venerated even mean? Not by me it ain't!

Secondly, give me a f-ing break. Two years for this? In a free country? Why didn't they just cut his hands off so the little infidel couldn't take any more pictures?

Finally, would this have happened if he hadn't posted it on Facebook? So what's really the crime here - posing? Nothing was defaced, damaged, polluted or otherwise mistreated, other than justice and sanity.Taking the picture? It's obviously not a selfie, so what about the accomplice?

By this law, if I'm in Pennsyltucky and someone walks up to me and says "Jesus is your savior," s/he's outraging the hell out of my sensibilities. Are they going to be arrested too?

"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.

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

I love it when you talk dirty (:D

I'm having Catholic-priest flashbacks ...

I have a linguistic bone to pick with Catholic priests. Until the abuses started being exposed, "as worthless as balls on a priest" was a perfectly good expression.

"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 remember the nuns teaching us how to prepare for confession in second grade. They gave everyone a big list of possible sins, and we had to  scan it and remember the ones we had committed to tell the priest. The most captivating sin on the list was "I touched myself in impure places." I guess in a way an "impure place" is the logical equivalent of a "venerated object" Back to you, Loren!

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.

@ Joseph - Bless you my son. Say six Hail Marys, four Our Fathers, and next time bring a tube of KY.

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.

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