The New York Daily News has this report on the artist, Michaelangelo, no not that one, the pedophile photographer who finds himself in U.S. District Court facing 15-30 years for child porn. Yes, Judge the pictures of me sleeping with an 11 year old girl on my laptop are real, . . . yes, Judge, she's a minor, but I took the pics in Colombia, . . . and these images are ART.
If you look at local news websites around the country which I do, you endlessly encounter reports of men being prosecuted on child porn charges. Hell, occasionally there's an adult woman in the mix.
A couple of thoughts occur to me: the wide-dispersion of computer technology in the late twentieth and first decade of the twenty-first century (is there a verb I can use here without using a pun?--oh, well) exposing a lot of pedophiles? Secondly, trying to justify, rationalize, excuse child porn sure faces steep odds, at least in this country.
These observations might sound incredibly obvious to you but for those of us who grew up in eras that preceded the personal computers, child porn existed--in fact, as an attorney who brought hundreds of actions arising out of the sexual abuse of children, some of this pre-digital garbage was discovered as part of the lawsuits. I don't know the numbers, but according to Wikipedia, since 1997, the number of images on the internet has grown an estimated 1500%! Computers did not create child porn, but computers created the resource for law enforcement to identify and prosecute consumers of this material.
Years ago I brought a claim against a step-father on behalf of his newly adult child. Of course, the defendnat denied abusing his step-daughter. I set the defendant's discovery deposition; just, before the scheduled examination one of the defendant's ex-wives (for another amazing story of a disgusted wife click the link)delivered a manilla envelope with dozens of black and white images that appear to have been processed in a basement darkroom. During the depositon, I pulled image after image out of this manilla envelope this defendant visibly wilted. His attempted explanation, ART! He compared the photos to the work Robert Mapplethorpe.
Um, I'm not an art critic, (well actually I am), but this was not the work of an artist.