From Marion County, Iowa arrives a dispatch from this country’s endless war on sexual civil liberties. Ed Bull, the county prosecutor, drew national notoriety for threatening to charge a 14-year-old girl with sexual exploitation of a minor—herself—for selfies she sent to a boy. Possible penalties included a spot on the sex offense registry, prison time, and reportedly even removal from her own home! Mainstream media outlets say the pics are “suggestive” but legal, no laws broken. Despite much condemnation of how he handled the case, Bull only relented after getting hit with a federal lawsuit. Congratulations to the girl known in court papers as Nancy Doe, the ACLU of Iowa, and all the legal eagles including Glen Downey. Linked below is a local news report, press releases from the ACLU of Iowa and County Attorney Ed Bull, and the lawsuit complaint – have a look! Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire
KCCI TV News (Des Moines, IA) | July 13, 2017
Prosecutor drops charges against teen in Snapchat sexting case (VIDEO)
The ACLU of Iowa says Marion County Attorney Ed Bull has agreed not to prosecute a 14-year-old Knoxville girl with criminal charges.
Marion County Prosecutor Ed Bull
By Lauren Donovan
Excerpts: After a heated legal battle, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa announced Thursday that Marion County Attorney Ed Bull has agreed not to prosecute a 14-year-old girl with criminal charges after she sent two photos of herself that depicted no nudity to a boy through the social media app Snapchat. As part of the legal settlement agreement, the county agreed to pay $40,000 in attorney fees to the ACLU and its cooperating attorneys, who represented the girl and her parents in a lawsuit.
To avoid prosecution, Bull told the girl she would have to sign an admission of guilt; enroll in a pre-trial diversion program involving community service; attend classes intended to teach teens not to engage in “sexting,” the content of which her parents objected to; and have no access to her phone or laptop for a set period of time.
Bull was unrepentant, saying he had hoped the children from the requirements would learn life-altering consequences that could arise from being labeled as a sex offender.
“As county attorney, it is my job to pursue justice. Nothing can or will change that,” he said. “I will put the ACLU’s dismissal papers in my file and go right back to work serving my community.” MORE:
ACLU of Iowa News Release, July 13, 2017: Marion County Attorney Forced to Drop “Sexting” Charges Against Teen Girl and to Pay Attorney Fees
Marion County Attorney Ed Bull New Release, July 13, 2017: Marion County Attorney Responses to Settlement in Doe v. Bull in Federal Court
ACLU of Iowa News Release, Nov. 11, 2016: ACLU of Iowa to Represent Knoxville Girl in “Sexting” Lawsuit
Doe vs. Bull
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Case No. 4:16-cv-00521
Complaint filed Nov. 10, 2016: