September 24th, 2009
06:24 PM ET

Are Bathtime Photos Pornographic?

Lisa Belkin
New York Times

You go on vacation to San Diego and take more than 100 photos of your three daughters, ages 5, 4 and 18 months. You also take seven or eight shots of your girls playing together at bathtime. Then you return home to Peoria, Ariz., bring your memory stick into Walmart for processing, and lose custody of your children because an employee finds the photos, decides they are pornographic, and alerts the police.

That is what happened to Lisa and Anthony Demaree last year. Accused of sexual abuse, they were not allow to see their girls for several days, and did not regain custody for a month while the state conducted an investigation, their lawyer told Arizona Republic reporter Dustin Gardiner.

No charges were brought against the couple by the state, and the case was dismissed. But during the course of the investigation, representatives of the Attorney General’s office interviewed the couple’s friends, family members and co-workers, the lawsuit claims, telling them that the Demarees had “sexually abused” their children by taking pornographic photos of them.


Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. monica

    ridiculous. if this is the case. better be sure and thats prolly what the store thought. but you would think the dhs would have dismissed it right away.

    September 24, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  2. The Other Cindy

    This is witch hunt mentality, and its scary. I honestly don't know any parent who doesn't have bath time photo's of their kids. Bath time is often a fun time for kids, and taking pictures of it is no diferent than taking pictures of them playing in a pool or sandbox.

    September 24, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  3. Rachelle

    It obviously depends on the pictures and how they are shared. It's perfectly normal for parents to take a photo of their baby or toddler at bathtime. We take pictures of everything they do!

    September 24, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  4. Fernando

    ridiculous. I will suit that woman and don't stop until she is in jail. I'll suit Walmart for not stopping that woman on time. I'll suit the police that took the woman's word as if they knew the woman and trust her with their life. I'll separate, whoever separate this family, from their own children for 3 months, so they know and understand what does it feel.

    September 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  5. Diane N.

    Bathtime photos are not pornographic!! Every modern new parent takes them, being that everything their new baby does is a milestone of discovery and parents want to capture it on film especially when they are in the bath, babies discovering the water, it's a beautiful thing, it's far from pornographic. Some people need to grow up. I mean really, the Walmart employee was completely out of line or wasn't mature enough to understand the concept of parenthood.

    September 24, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  6. nora

    someone get that couple a digital camera. skip the whole "processing" nonsense and never worry about idiots like that again!

    September 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    You know most of the time here those employees that handle the photos you take in are teenagers – if they are the ones deciding the photos are pornographic I think an adult supervisor ought to review them before DHS is called. I think its insane that this happens but we seem to live in a society now that is a little extreme on things – if you don't want to chance getting treated like this buy yourself a digital camera and upload the pictures to your own computer where you can print them out to photographic sheets. That way no one else is going to sit in judgement on you.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Donna Orsborn, Las Vegas, NV

    I know that we all need to be more alert about whats going on around us but this is taking it to a new level. Maybe the state should start investigating situations where children are actually being abused.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  9. JAlanGrey

    theres a civil suit there against the State... I hope they pursue it.. an example needs to be set so it doesnt happen again... and as for the Walmart employee... its their job to report things like nudity among pictures.. but anyone can tell the difference between family fun pictures and that of a molester or pornographer.. I would hope...

    September 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  10. Tammy, Houma, LA

    As a mandated reporter, I have to report anything that could possibly be a sign of harm to a child. If it were my goddaughters, you bet I'd want any remote suspicion reported to authorities. I cannot protect them 24/7. Having dealt with child abusers and molesters as a counselor, nothing is past their realm of manipulation. I'm glad these parents were cleared. But what if they really were abusing their kids and this employee blew it off as nothing? If it were my goddaughters and abuse ended up being proven, I'd want that employee's job for not doing his or her job to protect as photo developers are supposed to. It's about protecting children. End of story. Buy a picture printer and run photos from home if you don't want your photos being scrutinized by people simply doing their jobs.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  11. Gater Eby

    Another great example of government involvement. (and we want them to take over running health care,too?)

    Why did CPS allow it to go this far? Does no one have a brain anymore? Who doesn't have pics like this of their kids (or themselves as kids?)

    The damage was done when the kids were removed from their parents home for 30 days. I cannot believe that CPS would even consider removing them after viewing those pics. It's not ALL on the Wallmart employee's shoulders (who is apparently also an idiot)

    What ever happened to using a little SENSE? I think the parents have a lawsuit now, but frankly I feel the legal system – in general – is part of the blame.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  12. Santina

    This sociey has become so caught up in what is wrong with people they have forgotten how to see thing for their face value. Anyone would know the difference between porn and bath play. It's getting to the point that parents are going to be afraid to hug their children.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  13. eric lemke

    What's the statute of limitations on this crime? My parents also took pictures of me in the bathtub when i was a toddler. I am now shocked and outraged to find out my mom and dad were pornographers. All kidding aside, this nonsense has gotten totally out of hand. How anyone can equate a parent taking a picture of their kid in a bathtub as sexual abuse is beyond comprehension. What's next, breastfeeding?

    September 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  14. Lana

    The world has lost it's mind. How ridiculous! Walmart and the employee should apologize and make serious amends to the parents and children.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  15. Scott Stodden

    This is just crazy because how many parents out there take naked pictures of your kids in the bathtub showing there butt or something. This is total discrimination at its highest.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 24, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  16. Diegodiego

    If Bathtime photos are pornografic then most of the world has been sexually exploited by their parents. I surelly was. I trully believe this parents were just treasuring a beautiful moment in life.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  17. Patty Beck

    That is just awful and in my opinion NOT porn related. What is wrong with people? If this pics were considered pornographic, what about a naked baby on the bear skin rug photo? This is crazy. If this is porn, then you had better come and arrest my parents! I happen to know for sure that they have bath time photos of the 5 of us girls when we were young. And then, while you are at it, you can arrest me and my 4 sisters as we are all Moms and do not think Bathtime Buddy pics are porn! We have them of our kids! So sad to think that this happened to this couple. Our society has reached a point where people are SO WARY of EVERYTHING.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  18. Ruby

    This is insanity. The Walmart clerk went way too far here. There is nothing wrong with such photos. I have photos of myself when I was a baby in a bath, I never once accused my parents of sexual abuse though.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  19. Cindy

    This is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard of!! People take pictures of their children in the bath all of the time and it has nothing what so ever to do with anything sexual or pornographic! The nut who turned them in is the stupidest person I have ever heard of! I can see if they were pics of them laid out suggestively on the bed or what not but playing in the tub?? Come on people!


    September 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm |