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

Yeah - I totally give the kid points for cleverness.

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.

Same kid in the not-too-distant future.

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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