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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Miller v. Skumanick
Citation:605 F.Supp.2d 634.
In October 2008, Pennsylvania School District officials confiscated several students’ cell phones, examined them and discovered photographs of “scantily clad, semi-nude and nude teenage girls.” Many of these girls were enrolled in the district. The School District reported that male students had been trading these images over their cell phones.
The defendant, George Skumanick, the county attorney, began a criminal investigation. He sent letters to several parents that their child had been “identified in a police investigation involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography.” The letter also promised that the charges would be dropped if the child successfully completed a 6-9 month program focused on education and counseling. The letter warned that “charges will be filed against those that do not participate or those that do not successfully complete the program.”
Maryjo Miller, Jami Day, and Jane Doe, mothers of three of the girls, did not agree. They argued that the images were not sexual and that the girls did not send them out. They filed a civil suit against Skumanick, seeking to enjoin him from bringing charges against the girls. Skumanick asserted to plaintiffs’ counsel that the three girls were accomplices in the production of child pornography since they allowed themselves to be photographed.
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