Court: Prosecutors Can Force Boy to Pose for Explicit Photos in Teen Sexting Case

UPDATE: Manassas Police have released a statement on the case to the Washington Post, stating in part:

It is not the policy of the Manassas City Police or the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to authorize invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature and no such procedures have been conducted in this case. Beyond that, neither the Police Department nor the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office discusses evidentiary matters prior to court hearings.

Click here to read the full Manassas Police statement.

Original post: Well, this is just horrible.

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A 17-year-old Virginia boy facing two felony child pornography charges for sexting his then 15-year-old girlfriend says he is now fighting an attempt by prosecutors to take their own pictures of his genitalia as evidence—even if it means forcibly injecting him with drugs to induce an erection.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” the teen’s lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster, told The Washington Post. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth? This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before. Now he’s saddled with two felonies and the implication that he’s a sexual predator. I don’t mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don’t want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”

Trey Simms told his family that police already took photos of his genitals against his will while in custody, but a magistrate approved a search warrant authorizing additional photographs, this time while the young man is aroused.

Boston.com is naming the juvenile suspect because he has publicly identified himself in other news reports. He has not commented on the case beyond confirming his identity.

Simms was reported to police by the mother of his then girlfriend, after she discovered the explicit video. The girl, who reportedly also sent along pictures of herself in the exchange, has not been charged with any crime.

“They’re using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner,” Carlos Flores Laboy, Simms’s guardian ad litem, told the Post. “The irony is incredible...as a parent myself, I was floored. It’s child abuse. We’re wasting thousands of dollars and resources and man hour son a sexting case. That’s what we’re doing.”

Simms faces up to four years in prison and a potential lifetime as a publicly registered sex offender.