January 20, 2008

High School Boys Featured on Porn Sites

Photographs of several male high school students in California appeared on gay pornographic Web sites without the teenagers' permission, a newspaper reported.

The Orange County (Calif.) Register said Saturday it had learned that images of the water polo athletes from counties such as Los Angeles and San Diego were featured on five gay-oriented Web sites. It appeared the students were unaware they were being photographed.

The newspaper said the images of the boys in their swimsuits were placed on the Web sites next to nude or semi-nude photographs of other young males, as well as other sexually graphic content.

While news of the photographs angered many in the area, Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, said prosecuting such cases could be problematic because of First Amendment issues. Still, the Assembly Public Safety Committee chairman questioned the legality of such online postings.

The courts have generally favored free speech. But (the fact) that these photos are on Web sites, pornographic Web sites, raises valid questions about its legality, Solorio said.

University of California, Irvine, police confirmed they are investigating whether a UCI police dispatcher, who remains on active duty, photographed the student-athletes for gay-oriented sites.