Ohio Father Seeks Help for Daughter’s Exploitation, Police Officer Threatens Charges

Ohio Father Seeks Help for Daughter’s Exploitation, Police Officer Threatens Charges

An Ohio father sought assistance from the police after discovering that his 11-year-old daughter had been manipulated into sending explicit photos to an adult. However, instead of treating the girl as a victim, a police officer seemingly threatened to charge her under a law typically used to protect child victims. The incident, captured on body camera audio and the father’s doorbell camera, has drawn public criticism and highlighted the misuse of laws meant to safeguard children.

In the recorded interaction, the father asks the police if there is anything they can do. A female officer responds by suggesting that the 11-year-old could be charged with creating “child porn.” The father argues that she is a victim who was manipulated by an adult, but the officer dismisses this, stating that she is still responsible for creating the explicit material. The father ends the conversation in anger, and the video he posted on TikTok has garnered significant attention.

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant swiftly responded, stating that the officers’ conduct is under investigation and does not align with the division’s standards for how victims should be treated. Columbus police spokesperson Andrés Antequera explained that while the department aims to protect minors through education, counseling, and social services, Ohio statutes consider minors who create, possess, or distribute images of child sexual abuse, even of themselves, to be in violation of the law. Prosecutors ultimately decide whether to file charges.

Experts and advocates have criticized the incident, highlighting the common occurrence of charging victims in cases of sexual abuse. They argue that such actions misunderstand the purpose of laws intended to prevent the exploitation of children. The incident also sheds light on the need for standardized training for officers in handling child exploitation cases.

Rebecca Epstein, the executive director of the Center on Gender Justice and Opportunity at Georgetown University’s law school, emphasized the systemic issue of punishing young victims instead of providing support.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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