A sheriff’s office in Arizona is seeking legal advice after being notified that a local radio station aired what officials called a “disgusting” and “disturbing” Public Service Announcement (PSA) offering advice on ways to hide child pornography.
On Monday, officials in Cochise County, a district just outside of Tucson, began investigating local radio station KAVV – The Cave 97.7 FM for airing a PSA on ways to hide child porn.
According to a statement from Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, the PSA said “hide your child pornography from your computer by keeping all content on an external hard drive and hide it where no one can find it.”
“The radio station owner advised that possession of child pornography should not be illegal,” reads the statement.
According to local NBC affiliate KVOA News, the PSA also advised to “never keep paper pictures, tapes or films of naked juveniles where anyone else can find them.”
Possessing child porn is covered under Arizona’s “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor” law. The law states: “The crime is committed if any person knowingly records, films, photographs, duplicates, develops, sells, purchases, transports, or electronically transmits or receives any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexual conduct or exploitive exhibition.”
A person can face 10 to 24 years in prison for each violation. The law also notes that penalties are higher if the child is under 15 years old.
Speaking with KVOA News, radio station owner Paul Lotsof said he disagrees with the state’s child porn laws.
“There’s no picture in the world that’s that dangerous,” Lotsof told the news outlet. “Pictures of whatever you want to call them. They’re minors, they’re pictures of minors and you go to prison for the rest of your life for possessing them.”
The radio station owner said there’s a difference between making child porn and having pictures depicting child porn.
“The difference is one case, you’re molesting children and abusing them, causing children to do things that are not natural for children to do and the other case, they’re just possessing pictures. There’s no connection between those two,” Lotsof told KVOA News.
The sheriff’s office said the PSA apparently aired late in the evenings or in the very early morning hours.
“This is very disturbing to know that a member of our local media, who should be one of the responsible groups of people to provide factual information to our public to keep them safe, is promoting and encouraging criminal behaviour,” Sheriff Mark Dannels said in a statement. “This is a disgusting and unacceptable public service announcement and this type of propaganda encourages evil behaviour. Freedom of speech does not include telling people to commit crimes and continuing to pass on this information could lead to judicial action being taken.”
A Change杭州龙凤 petition, with over 950 supporters, was created, calling for the radio station to be shut down.
“We are mothers, fathers, children. We are families that do not have to put up with this garbage. Let’s stand together and make sure this never happens again!!” the petition reads.
The sheriff’s office said it’s seeking legal advice “on actions that can be taken for the content that has already been released and to ensure this kind of information in not released again.”