A picture from the Demaree's vacation, released by their lawyer.File this under things you wouldn't believe could happen, but did.
Last year, Lisa and Anthony Demaree took their three girls--ages 5, 4 and 18 months--on a vacation to San Diego, returning with the hundred or so usual vacation photos, which they turned in to Walmart for developing. And then their children were seized.
Yes, seized. By Child Protective Services. According to the Arizona Republic, the Demarees did not see their kids for several days, and didn't regain custody of them for a month, during which they were investigated for "sexual abuse."
The evidence against them? Bath time photos.
That's right. Photos of the kids in the bath. Naked, as kids often are in the bath, at least if you're trying to get them clean. Photos which, according to the state Attorney General's office, were no better than pornography.
Now the couple, once under investigation for "sexually abusing" their three daughters by taking the photos, is suing Walmart and the state of Arizona for the stress, shock, grief and depression caused by the incident.
Does it matter that all charges were eventually dropped? That the Demaree's were reunited with their children, and had a chance to explain to their friends, family and neighbors the root cause of the accusations against them?
Of course it matters. Most reasonable members of society can understand the vital difference between taking photos of you kids playing in the tub and creating sexually explicit content starring minors. So what took the state of Arizona so long?
It's really hard to know. To be fair, cases like that of the abused and killed Chandler child, also reported by the Arizona Republic, can scare the bejeezus out of anyone, especially the state officials charged with protecting kids against abusive parents and guardians. But if taking pictures of kids naked in the bathtub is tantamount to producing pornography, then just about every camera-toting parent on the planet is a criminal and could have their kids seized. Is that appropriate?
Free Range Kids: Kodak Moment or Kiddie Porn?