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Julie Estelle on Playboy, child pornography?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lawyer Ari Juliano (popularly known by collegues as "Ajo") blogged about Julie Estelle's appearance in Playboy Magazine. In case you don't know the person, its that young artist playing in the movie Alexandria or something.

Anyway, If she's truly 17 when the photos were made, Ajo is correct in pointing out that she is not old enough to enter into agreement with a third party. Thus, she'd had to be represented by her parents as under the civil code, the minimum age required by someone to obtain full legal capacity is 21, unless the person is married. Even under the child protection law, she is still technically a 'child', as the age for adulthood there is 18 . The question is, would her photo session with playboy amount to child pornography?

Child pornography is a term not known to the child protection law. However, the law does punish anyone who economically or sexually exploited children for their or other people's benefit in Article 88. I think we should note that Article 88 used the disjunctive "or". Secondly, the word "benefit" in the article contains a burden of proof. Thirdly, the word "exploitation" is also something that needs to be proven.

If a parent ask a child to leave his school and work 12 hours a day to generate income, it is clear that it amounts to "economic exploitation". But if the child work only twice in a month for 3 hours and she agreed to it, then its not an exploitation, its "nurturing the talent".

And how are we supposed to define "sexual exploitation"? Well it depends. If my client the child's parents, then I can say: "Hey, this is a criminal provision, it has to be interpreted strictly. Sexual exploitation only occurs when the child commits intercourse or other sexually related activities with another person". On the other hand, if I am the prossecutor, I can say: "Those who buys Playboy are buying it for sexual reason (uh oh?). That is why it is called an adult magazine, because it has a 'lust' orientation. Anyone who asks a child to pose in that magazine is therefore responsible for inducing a sex oriented activity."

Oh well...