UPDATE: Grisham apologized. Looks like he finally read the memo. And he got people talking ….
Child pornography is criminal for a reason: It’s gross, vile, and extremely damaging to the children who were exploited. But someone didn’t get the memo.
John Grisham (yes, THAT John Grisham) said recently in an interview that men who look at 16-year-old girls in sex acts are not pedophiles and should not be punished.
If you are sexually aroused by watching minors being sexually abused and/or forced into sex acts, you have real issues. But I am not going to get into that in this post.
What I AM going to talk about is why these photos are illegal and why people who create, sell, and/or look at them should be punished.
Here are reasons why John Grisham is horribly mistaken:
1) The actions involved in the photos are criminal. Child pornography is not “art.” It includes photos of children (boys, girls, toddlers, and teens) being tied up, raped, drugged, sodomized, and violated. It’s disgusting stuff. Talk to prosecutors—they will tell you.
2) All of the children in these photos are victims of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is when a child is sold for sex—including prostitution and child pornography. The children in the photos—whether they be 10-year-old boys or 16-year-old girls—are being sold for sex. Period. Bad people are making money off of this. Yes: They are making money off of pictures of children being raped.
3) Let’s talk about the kids in the photos. How do you think that pornographers get the kids? They don’t do a casting call and abide by union rules. Instead, they exploit and imprison runaways, force kids into drug addiction, or take pictures of children they are already sexually abusing. Other children are isolated from friends and family, marked with tattoos to show that their pimp “owns” them, and then are forced to comply if they want to eat, sleep, or get a hit of drugs to keep them from going into painful withdrawal symptoms.
The kids in the photos are not wiling models. I repeat: THE “MODELS” ARE BEING HORRIBLY EXPLOITED.
4) One of the best ways to STOP child pornography is to kill the market. That’s done by aggressively punishing the people who buy these photos. If the market dries up, less children will be forced into these violent and criminal photos. Hence the long prison terms.
5) Grisham is trying to minimize the issue by saying that his friend “innocently clicked” on one of these links. Let me tell you this: If the RCMP came knocking on Grisham’s friend’s door and threw the guy in the pokey for three years, he wasn’t looking at 21-year-old girls in cheerleader outfits. He was looking at the gross stuff. (The rapes, the sodomies, the bondage) The RCMP cannot successfully prosecute a case if there is any cause for doubt. Grisham’s friend apparently left no cause for doubt.
6) There is a very small gap between looking at photos of children being sexually abused and actually abusing a child. There is a gap, but it is very small.
Need more proof? Child pornography is so vile that Missouri prosecutors got a guilty plea from Kansas City/St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn. His crime? Covering up for a pornography-producing priest. Instead of immediately turning over to the cops a priest’s computer full of images of children porn, Finn “minimized” the problem, didn’t inform the parents, and let the priest hide.
Sorry, Mr. Grisham. You are very, very wrong.