Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ethics Police: Pedophile Author Arrested for Obscenity

Some of you might recall back in November when a self-published book on pedophilia popped up on Amazon. The book, which was a how-to guide for pedophiles by a Colorado man, was pulled off the site as soon as it was acknowledged.

Now, the author--Phillip R. Greave--has been arrested on charges of obscenity, opening a huge Bill-of-Rights can of worms, no matter how morally justified it may be.

The Associated Press reports:
A Colorado man who wrote a how-to guide for pedophiles was arrested Monday and will be extradited to Florida to face obscenity charges, after deputies there ordered a copy of the book that has generated online outrage.

Officers arrested Phillip R. Greaves at his home in Pueblo on Monday on a warrant that charges him with violating Florida's obscenity law. During a brief court appearance, Greaves waived his right to fight extradition to Polk County, Fla., where Sheriff Grady Judd claimed jurisdiction because the author sold and mailed his book directly to undercover deputies. Judd said Greaves even signed the book.

"I was outraged by the content," Judd told The Associated Press. "It was clearly a manifesto on how to sexually batter children ... You just can't believe how absolutely disgusting it was."

The book — "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" — caused a flap when it showed up on Amazon in November. The book was later removed from the site.

Greaves, who has no criminal record, writes in the book that pedophiles are misunderstood, as the word literally means to love a child. He adds that it is only a crime to act on sexual impulses toward children, and offers advice that purportedly allows pedophiles to abide by the law.

Judd said he was incensed when he heard about the book and that no one had arrested Greaves for selling it. The book, Judd said, included first-person descriptions of sexual encounters, purportedly written from a child's point of view.

"What's wrong with a society that has gotten to the point that we can't arrest child pornographers and child molesters who write a book about how to rape a child?" said Judd, who keeps a Bible on his desk and is known throughout Florida as a crusader against child predators.

Florida' obscenity law — a third-degree felony — prohibits the "distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors." Pueblo County sheriff's spokeswoman Laurie Kilpatrick said Greaves would leave for Polk County later in the day.

Legal experts questioned whether Greaves' right to free speech would come into play if there's a trial. If prosecutors can charge Greaves for shipping his book, they ask, what would prevent booksellers from facing prosecution for selling Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," a novel about a pedophile?

"As bad as this book may be, the charge opens a very big Pandora's box," said Dennis J. Kenney, a former police officer in Polk County and a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "The charge sounds to me like a significant overreach."

Greaves was among a group of prisoners who made brief appearances before District Court Judge David Crockenberg in Pueblo on Monday, all of them represented by the same public defender. He was the only one not wearing a striped prison uniform although his wrists were handcuffed in front of him.

Dressed in a cream colored T-shirt and khaki pants, Greaves said he understood the extradition process. When Crockenberg asked him if he understood he would be taken to Florida, Greaves responded, "That is correct, your honor."

Judd said his undercover detectives got Greaves to mail the book to them for $50; he told officers it was his last copy.

"If we can get jurisdiction ... we're coming after you," Judd said. "There's nothing in the world more important than our children."

Read the article on Yahoo! News HERE
It's unbelievably disturbing to me what people are capable of. And as Judd points out, we have a responsibility to protect our families and society's youths, and I agree that we should do whatever we can--within reason--to do so.

But I'll admit it is a blurry line to toe given our country's "freedoms." The question is: what is "within reason"? The conditions set out by our founding fathers seem more detrimental than anything else in cases like this, but what can we legally and morally do about it?

As our country is wont to do, I'm sure they'll find other, more "just" and "appropriate" charges on which to take action against Greaves, but they may be sticking their hands into a giant honey pot in doing so.

The Ethics Police are baffled...and sitting here with the creeps, to say the least.

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