So 18-year-old Anthony Stancl of New Berlin, Wisconsin, has been arrested. Every parent worries that their teenager will get in trouble with the law—underage drinking, carousing, boys will be boys, etc. But Tony got arrested for posing as a female on Facebook, tricking his underaged male classmates into sending him naked photos of themselves and then blackmailing them into having sex with him. Which he also photographed. (And no, a coffee-table book of the evidence is not in the works.)
That's it—no car for two weeks!
Actually, his punishment could be 300 years in prison. (Did I mention the only reason he was caught was because he phoned in a bomb threat to the school? A bomb threat he nonchalantly Twittered about as if he had nothing to do with it?)
First: Can we please lay off MySpace as being somehow extraordinarily dangerous? Predators have moved on to Facebook. Soon, we'll hear about people Twittering a juicy molestation they just committed.
Second: Is an 18-year-old classmate having sex with a 15-year-old, 16-year-old or 17-year-old really "molestation?" Is taking pictures of it "child porn?" I'm just asking, because I've read a lot of comments from people who think not. Of course, this is just an academic question—Stancl didn't just have sex with them, he coerced them into having sex. (Is what he did "rape?") And his victims were as young as 13. And he also had hundreds of "commercially produced child pornography videos" on his computer.
Third: Who are these boys? I did not go to school with boys who, in order to have a naked picture of themselves remain private, could be intimidated into having sex with a guy, a guy who was also then taking pictures of that sex. These are guys who were sending pictures to a presumed girl, so it's not like they're all secretly gay. This is just...bizarre to me. I'm not blaming the victims, I'm just trying to understand. If it were one boy, maybe. But Tony did this with 31 victims!
When I was in high school, I was desperate to find out who might be gay. In retrospect, several of them were duh-obvious. But I do remember we studied surveys and questionnaires and I had this secret desire to create a huge, supposedly anonymous census that would ask all of my classmates like 300 questions. Among the questions would be something like "Are you gay, or are you curious about homosexuality?" Then I would mark the backs of some of the surveys, the ones I gave to guys I was hot for, so I could find out if any were closeted.
Of course, I never did this. Of course, the school never would have allowed such a survey.
To be honest, even if Facebook had existed back then, I bet I'd still have been a virgin through graduation. And I certainly wouldn't have dreamed of actually plotting to coerce sex out of straight boys.
P.S. Some people think it's fascinating that Stancl was an Obama supporter. Because no Obama detractors have ever broken the law or preyed on minors, right?