Should child pornography laws be re-evaluated in the Digital Age?

Mandi Gosling

A 21-year-old aspiring singer from Michigan is facing charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography after he edited a video that appeared to show him singing sexually explicit songs to a first grade class.

Evan Emory went to a local elementary school, performed kids songs for a group of children and video taped it. After the class was dismissed, he stuck around and sang sexually explicit songs, which he later edited into the video to replace the children’s songs.

He showed the video in a bar and posted it on YouTube and the children’s parents were outraged. Emory is now looking at 20 years in prison and 25 years on the sex offender registry if convicted.

Technology is raising new questions about what constitutes child pornography because images can so easily be digitally altered.  Even if you take issue with Emory’s actions, there is no doubt the children were in no way harmed in the making of the video.

And if child pornography laws exist to protect our most vulnerable, have we achieved that if Emory is locked up for the next 20 years or is there a more suitable way to chastise him?