Douglas County prosecutor under fire for releasing child porn tape in Genarlow Wilson case

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Hat Tip: By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press Writer

District Attorney David McDade has handed out some 35 copies of a video of teenagers having sex at a party.

McDade says Georgia’s open-records law leaves him no choice but to release the footage because it was evidence in one of the state’s most turbulent cases — that of Genarlow Wilson, a young man serving 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a girl when they were teenagers.

McDade’s actions have opened him up to accusations that he is vindictively misusing his authority to keep Wilson behind bars — and worse, distributing child pornography.

“This has been a ferocious, vindictive prosecution of Genarlow Wilson,” said state Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta Democrat. “What is going on is a vendetta.”

McDade, who is district attorney in Douglas County, in suburban Atlanta, did not immediately return calls Thursday.

He has said that while the law required him to release the video, he also believes the footage helps his case — by showing that Wilson is not the squeaky-clean football star and honor student portrayed by his supporters.

“Most of those who do not want people to see the tape know that it’s damning to their position,” McDade told The Associated Press.

He released the video after receiving an open records request from the AP, and said he has given it to about three dozen people, including reporters, lawmakers and several members of the public who requested it.

It shows Wilson, then 17, receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl and having intercourse with another 17-year-old girl. It was shot at a 2003 New Year’s Eve Party at a hotel room by another partygoer.

Earlier this week, Georgia’s chief federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias, said the video “constitutes child pornography under federal law,” and he called on McDade’s office to stop releasing copies.

“These laws are intended to protect the children depicted in such images from the ongoing victimization of having their sexual activity viewed by others,” Nahmias said.

Nahmias’ office refused to say whether he would bring criminal charges against the D.A.

Critics say that at the very least, McDade should have obscured the faces of the underage girls to conceal their identity, or sought a protective order to keep the material under seal.

Such steps are common in sex abuses cases, especially those involving underage victims, said Diane Moyer, legal director for the Pennsylvania-based National Sexual Violence Research Center.

“The bottom line is we need to have respect for the victims in these kinds of cases,” Moyer said. “To release this kind of thing, to me it’s prurient and it takes the open records law too far.”

Several Wilson supporters likened McDade to disgraced Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong and called on Georgia’s attorney general to investigate.

“Mike Nifong lost his license, and if he lost his license, then certainly a district attorney that distributes child pornography ought to be investigated,” the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, said Thursday.

State Sen. Emanuel Jones said he would introduce legislation to block district attorneys from handing over photographic images in sex cases.

“I’m going to call it the David McDade Act,” Jones said. “Sometimes we have to protect our kids from district attorneys.”

Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with the 15-year-old girl. He has served more than two years of a mandatory 10-year sentence.

The law Wilson was convicted of breaking made consensual oral sex between teens a felony. It has since been changed by the Georgia Legislature. But the state’s courts have held that the new law cannot be applied retroactively.

A judge last month called Wilson’s sentence “a grave miscarriage of justice” and ordered him set free. But prosecutors are trying to block his release. The Georgia Supreme Court is set to hear the case next week.

McDade fought a bill in the Legislature earlier this year that would have helped Wilson. Some lawmakers who were on the fence changed their mind after seeing the tape.

The County prosecutor in this case, David McDade, is a racist-plain and simple. The release of child porn-anything with juveniles under 18, is a damn crime and he knows it. Call me what you will but white folks don’t get treated like this. So much for his so-called concern for the girls whose identity could be up on the internet now for all to see.

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20 thoughts on “Douglas County prosecutor under fire for releasing child porn tape in Genarlow Wilson case

  1. Dang.
    What is the point of showing the video? I don’t understand how you even begin to rationalize that.

    What are the laws in GA? What would he have faced if he went against those “open-records” laws?

    Ok, so you don’t want him to be portrayed as a good student. First of all, WHY? And second of all, WHY DO YOU NEED TO USE A VIDEO??

  2. rikyrah

    This is child pornography. Where are the so-called conservatives on child porn….oh, I guess it’s not porn if it’s BLACK kids.

  3. This is disgusting!!!!! Let him go already.I have never heard of such a thing as releasing a tape of underage sex to the public. People are online actually looking for the tape! This is unbelievable and outrageous!

  4. rikyrah

    He needs to be brought up on child pornography charges. PERIOD.

    If this were a bunch of UNDERAGED WHITE GIRLS….would he have released the tape without obscuring their faces?

    HELL NO.

  5. I shouldn’t be surprised…but sometimes I hope out hope that one day….just one day.

    *shameful*

    Why does R. Kelly have a pending trial and this man not?

    *sighes*

  6. “This is child pornography. Where are the so-called conservatives on child porn…. oh, I guess it’s not porn if it’s BLACK kids.”

    rikyrah, if you REALLY want know what america thinks about sex & race, try this little experiment.

    go to http://images.search.yahoo.com/

    Turn off the “safesearch” feature.

    Type in “African”. Hit search. Count the photos.
    Now type in “Caucasian”.

    ’nuff said.

  7. David McDade being a DA racist is nothing but than the effect after an action that was taken.

    David McDade did not force Gernalow or his buddies to go into a hotel room with a camera and let a 15-year old girl engage in oral sex. David McDade also did not tell anyone of those people prosecuted by him to be ignorant of the law, especially when you live in a state like Georgia or Virginia notorious for having obscure laws to prosecute Blacks. Racist DA don’t send people to jail, juries and inrefutable evidence do.

    I want to know what a “Wilson supporter” is? Also, if anything, the fact the tape is considered child porn means these guys including Gernalow could have been in even more trouble because it appear obvious they created and originally distributed the child porn before the cops got a hold of it in the first place.

    I wonder how much the teen males paid the 15-year old to participate in child porn and have her image distributed to all the boys around town before all yall talk about how innocent he is. In other words, people need to clarify their position on who they support and defend against so-called ‘injustice’ when they are on video doing something extremely immoral and degrading with a 15-year old.

  8. Denise

    Are you actually suggesting that a 17 year old deserves to spend 10 years in prison for consenual sex with a peer?

  9. It’s plain and simple to me. David McDade should be brought up on child porn charges. There’s no other way to see this.

  10. Mrs. G.

    Hmmm…so I’m to presume that the posters in here, didn’t have sex at 17 or before? Hell, just a few years ago here in GA, oral sex was a CRIME on the books.

    Another point, why didn’t the 17-year WHITE GIRL and the 15-year BLACK GIRL, get prosecuted as well! Fair is fair.

    The 15-year olds mother doesn’t want Mr. Wilson to spend another day in jail. So who the hell are WE TO JUDGE. It’s a lot of STONE THROWERS in here and no way do I believe, that 99% of you waited until MARRIAGE to have SEX! Before ya ask, hell no I didn’t either! Yep, FORNICATION IS A CRIME TOO!

    So seems to me, a whole lot of folk could be in JAIL as well, huh?

    What the prosecutor did was malicious – the timing was everything. How he sleeps at night, saying that he upholds the LAWS OF THE LAND, just amazes me!

    (this is coming from an ex cop – EX because of the many INJUSTICES that I have seen, in our so called LEGAL SYSTEM! Yeh, I had a CONSCIENCE)

  11. Hello Skeptical Brotha,

    My “emotionally intellectualized” message to Douglas County D.A. J. David McDade is “Shame On You!!” God willing, the consequences for doing what he did will be both swift and severe enough to discourage this type of egregious behavior from ever happening again.

    It’s a crying shame that Georgia’s Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, refused to do the right thing and let Mr. Genarlow Wilson walk out of prison as a free man. It’s so true that all my skin folk ain’t my kin folk.

    Participating in the West Metro NAACP march and rally on July 14, 2007 was encouraging because more “non-violent” protesters showed up and spoke out than what some of the main stream news media outlets reported.

    Manchild

  12. Hi, I wrote a blog about structural/Institutional racism in the United States linking together the cases of the Jena Six trial in Louisiana, Shaquanda Cotton in Texas, and Genarlow Wilson in Georgia. It is a national phenomena that young black children are being locked away for minor crimes.

    http://www.justdemocracyblog.org/?p=627

    I think it is important to put a face on structural and institutional racism in America. It is claiming real victims, and they are getting younger by the day now that Zero-tolerance policies have come about.

    Peace,
    C.B. from Advancement Project

  13. bgates

    After following this unfolding story for the past few weeks, I have been convinced that the most acceptable bottom line to this legal mess and inappropriate punishment rendered would be to terminate the remaining sentence time and consider time served as the extent of punishment. There should be no further punishment involved and no life long registration as a sex offender. Genarlow Wilson made a mistake and he has been punished enough. Hopefully he will have the strength and courage to persue his earlier life goals. And hopefully all involved in this saga can find peace of mind. Time to move on!

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