Sims v. Labowitz

Allegation: Manassas City, Va. detective (an alleged child molester) compels 17-year-old to masturbate in front of armed officers so as to compare his erect penis with illicit images sent to the teen’s 15-year-old girlfriend. District court: Qualified immunity. Fourth Circuit (2017, over a dissent): Reversed. The detective violated the teen’s Fourth Amendment right of privacy and should have known it. Fourth Circuit (2018, on dueling petitions for rehearing, also over a dissent): So actually, we vacate rather than reverse the district court on that point. Also, it’s possible the detective’s actions amounted to creating child porn, for which the 17-year-old can seek recompense (a claim previously dismissed). (We discussed the 2017 ruling on the podcast.)

Tags: 2018, Fourth Amendment, Fourth Circuit, Privacy, Qualified Immunity

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