Sunday, April 17, 2011

Man who didn’t sing crude song to first-graders sent to prison

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Evan Emory
Evan Emory

Remember Evan Emory? He’s the musician/comedian who sang a perfectly harmless song to a class of first-graders at Muskegon County, Michigan’s Beechnau Elementary this past February and then edited it later on to dub in crude and sexually charged lyrics before posting the final, edited video to YouTube. No kids had ever been exposed to those inappropriate lyrics at any point in time during the original filming of the video, and the only fair accusation that could be made against Emory was that he neglected to blur out the children’s faces in the video, leaving them identifiable. Which is still rather small potatoes, all things considered, and hardly an indictable offense, as far as I’m aware. (Which, in this modern world of insane child-protecting regulations, seems to be growing less and less. But, I digress.)

Muskegon County, Michigan prosecutor Tony Tague
Tony Tague

For this non-offense, Emory was charged with “manufacturing and distributing child pornography”, an utterly insane accusation that carries with it a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and 25 years on the sex offender registry. Despite the fact that his video, objectionable as some may find it, didn’t contain the slightest hint of child sexuality. I wasn’t aware that just singing sexually crude lyrics to kids could be considered on par with molesting them in front of a camera … but, again, who the fuck knows these days with batshit zealots like Muskegon Country prosecutor Tony Tague, who originally charged Emory, in positions of power.

We now have the final verdict on the matter, and it comes off tasting somewhat bittersweet:

On Tuesday, Judge William C. Marietti of the Muskegon County 14th Circuit Court sentenced Emory under a previously arranged plea deal to 60 days in jail, two years probation, 200 hours of community service, mandatory counseling and fines and costs. And when he emerges from jail, Emory can’t be within 500 feet of children under the age of 17. All for a comedy attempt gone awry.

It certainly is good to hear that the original bullshit about “child pornography” has apparently been tossed out the window, though it’s aggravating that Emory was burdened with such ill-fitting charges in the first place. I suppose this is the best sort of sentencing we could’ve hoped for, given the hysteria surrounding the case from overzealous parents and prosecutors. Emory should probably consider himself lucky that he wasn’t publicly lynched at this point. Such is the abysmal level of reason to which the child-security-crazed hoi polloi has sunk.

(via The Agitator)