Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Orville Taylor | Child porn in your face

Published:Sunday | February 12, 2017 | 2:00 AM

Delete the video from your phone, you pervert! Unless you are sending it to the police. And, for the record, if you are sending it to any other police officer who is not involved in the case, you are guilty of child pornography.

If my language is offensive, choose another from the dictionary, but there is nothing glorious about children, or anyone, for that matter, being abused. I am on the subject again because too many careless video recordings are being circulated in WhatsApp chat groups, Facebook, and other social media.

Indeed, someone had the absence of mind to send me one captioned 'what is this little girl thinking?' Well, let me advise the public once more. She is a child and, therefore, does not have the legal capacity to think when it comes to her sexuality. Therefore, whatever immoral thoughts she might have, she is a child, and as the late entertainer Red Dragon said, when little girls approach big men, "Gwaan go look you size."

To this end, I also salute current DJ I-Octane in his song Nah Hear (Likkle Girl). Emphatically, he states, "This likkle girl she shi waan please mi a likkle; Underage gyal yo too likkle, likkle."

 

ADULTS, BE RESPONSIBLE

 

At all material times, we need to be fully aware that we, as adults, are responsible for the conduct of children.

Last week, a Jamaican man with video recordings of child pornography on his cell phone was held at the Orlando International Airport. There is an age-old principle in law that ignorance is no defence. Thus, it is totally irrelevant whether or not he had the intention to do evil. Of course, as a reasonable man, I am incredulous that anyone could think that it is acceptable to store graphic information regarding children having sexual relations. Moreover, he admitted to having forwarded it to others with supposedly the intention of educating them.

Let me rest my brain a bit and use some other organ to think. But to this father of five daughters, ask him how comfortable would he feel if videos of his pristine offspring were being circulated by some 'well-thinking' benevolent adult.

No father that I know would be comfortable with any other man, including her paternal uncles, ogling the recorded errant behaviour of his child. So guess what? He better come up with a better excuse than that.

Our legislation is very explicit and unambiguous. It does not give to the adult any discretion with regard to child pornography. In Jamaica, we have a Child Pornography (Prevention) Act (CPPA) 2009, which I am inviting every adult in this country to read. And if you cannot read, have someone read it for you.

 

WHAT IS CHILD PORN?

 

The act defines child pornography as "any visual representation that - (i) shows a person who is, or is depicted as being, a child and is engaged in, or is depicted as being engaged in, sexual activity." Included in the definition are also audio recordings and any portrayal of "a child being subjected to torture, cruelty or physical abuse in a sexual context." Let us be aware: The videos of the girl who is being raped and beaten, which persons say they have seen, fall also squarely into this category.

Now, somehow, the legislators did not choose to link the age of consent with the age of a child under the CPPA. Thus, there is often the misconception that since she can 'give it up', she can be taped. In fact, so strident were the legislators who passed this statute that they removed the disclaimer based on actual age of the child. Under the act, a child "means a male or female person under the age of 18 years". This has nothing to do with whether he or she has a hundred Dexta Daps 7-11 kilometres on his or her sexual odometer. Moreover, the person does not have to be a child, because "any evidence that some of the principal characteristics shown may be those of an adult shall be disregarded," if the "predominant impression conveyed is that the image shown is that of a child". All that is necessary for there to be child pornography is an impression that it reasonably could be children or a child being shown in a sexual context.

 

GETTING MORE INTERESTING

 

Follow me. Given that sixth-formers are very likely to be around the age of 17, if there are recorded images of persons, even if they are in their 30s, dressed like schoolers and doing the nasty, it could even be child pornography despite there being only adults in the videos. And it gets more interesting. If King Pervert gets high on drawing cartoons and emojis that show little kids having sex or in a sexual setting, it is also child porn. This is whether or not there is any actual living person. The offence covers "any image, whether made or produced by - electronic, mechanical or any other means". So, if you even draw it, you have done it.

Under the law, the only recourse an individual who innocently comes into possession of child porn is to delete it or pass the information on the police or Children's Registry. Child porn is like an illegal firearm. If you believe that you have received a file that is child porn, don't even bother to look at it. Call the cops or take it to them.

Nevertheless, there is a dialectical relationship, and we need to work on the offenders as well as prospective victims. It is not enough to punish the offenders or to dissuade them from their inclination towards paedophilia or child voyeurism. Children learn sexual behaviour from a very early age. Thus, we have to begin the process of steering them in the right direction very early. Copious research links self-esteem, poor mentoring, and myriad socialisation issues with the propensity to become pervert prey.

All children are ours.

- Dr Orville Taylor is senior lecturer in sociology at the UWI, a radio talk-show host, and author of 'Broken Promises, Hearts and Pockets'. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and tayloronblackline@hotmail.com.