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Parents Sue Walmart Over Kid Bath Pics

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Were they out of line?

wal-mart store

Let's say you take some pics of your kids (ages 1½, 4, and 5) at bath time, and then you go have them developed at Walmart.

The Walmart employee sees the pics and calls the cops on you for child porn. Your kids are taken away and you don't regain custody for a month.

That's exactly what Lisa and Anthony "A.J." Demaree of Arizona say happened to them ... and now they are suing Walmart.

Richard Treon, the Demarees' attorney, said the seven to eight bath- and playtime photos of the girls were only part of the 144 photographs from the family's vacation in San Diego.

"There was nothing sexual about it," Treon told WTOP. "This is a parent's worst nightmare."

The couple has filed two lawsuits, one directed at the State Attorney General's office, the City of Peoria, and the state of Arizona. The other lawsuit is directed at Walmart, headquartered in Arkansas.

Do you think Walmart had a right to turn the bath-time photos over to the police? Comment below.

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176 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jamericanspice September 18, 2009, 7:46 PM

I don’t know of any family who don’t have photos of their babies in the bathtub. These are even in magazine.

What alien form took over the walmart workers? Or were those photos indeed suspicious?

Amy September 18, 2009, 8:05 PM

This is horrific! What those poor children and parents were put through bc of a collective grouP of idiots. I hope they win millions, though it will never makeup for the nightmare they experienced.

jc September 18, 2009, 9:06 PM

I find it stupid people here defending Walmart over this. What has this world come to.

Not even counting the fact their kids were taken away for a month. Yet apparently this is totally acceptable to some posters here. Truly pathetic.

And that doesn’t even the count what happens to your social life of just be accused of it. America is no longer the great country it used to be.

Taylor September 18, 2009, 10:06 PM

What the hell? My mom has photos of me in the bath tub too. And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen photos of kids in the bath on Facebook for Christ’s sake!!! This world is becoming a giant safety rail. Nothing is held lightly anymore.

I bet the employee’s mom hated her and didn’t take photos of her in the bath and now she’s mad.

Anonymous September 19, 2009, 1:17 AM

Protip: Anonymous is more than one person.

stacy September 19, 2009, 10:36 AM

What i sign of how peverted our society has become. Innocent picture of their children playing in a tub was considered obsene by someone. The person who reported it is the one you have to keep an eye on. The saw the picture and something in their values saw it as dirty. They are the pervert.
Sue walmart. Get millions. Those parent will forever be listed as sexual predators because of this. Destroy Wal Mart.

Jennifer  September 19, 2009, 10:58 AM

I have naked bath pics of my kids in a photo box, probably developed by Walmart years ago! Id be so upset. Not the fact that they called the cops, but the fact that it escalated, and I was without my children so long. Maybe the city has some answers to give too, not just Walmart. What a mess!?

Pamala September 19, 2009, 12:29 PM

Well I do have to wonder what this picture actually looked like because one month of not having the kids makes no sense if this was just an innocent photo of three kids in a bath. There had to be something that just was off in the photo that not only alarmed the staff at Wal-Mart but CPS and the cops.

Fern September 19, 2009, 1:05 PM

Jessica’s comment is important:

I think the walmart staff did exaggerate, but what about social services, the cops, and all those involved in the actual deed of taking the kids away??, it took them a month, with the children already under custody, to see the pics?? they should have seen the pics the moment they were informed and determined they were not pornographic, before hurting healthy and well-taken-care-of kids emotionally by taking them away from their parents for a month without a real reason. Not a day or a week, but a month, to determine those were baby bath pictures, the ones everyone has!! talk about wasting time chasing the wrong person, while other kids are indeed being abused… what a shame

Read more:

Government seizure of children is a serious offense AGAINST THE CHILDREN.

Can you remember back to when you were 4 and were away from your parents for even a day or two?

Arizona is WRONG. DES is wrong. Police wrong. Hope the family is amply compensated.

Anonymous September 19, 2009, 1:29 PM

No way should it have been handled that way. If Walmart felt it necessary to question the meaning behind the photos to the police that is fine. They provide the service and you accept the agreement. The police however should have investigated the issue with what some would refer to as commonsense. Idiots!! I hope the family sues the city into oblivion. This is a typical example of a “pussified” society. Whatever you do (the family) don’t settle out of court. Make this issue as publisized as humanly possible. I suppose snatching some kids from their parents in this particular instance was supposed to be the right course of action for the well-being of the children. Morons.

Pat September 19, 2009, 2:39 PM

I keep seeing this story today, and everybody keeps reporting it like this is the only time it has happened, when in reality it happens a lot. Just do a google search for “Julie Amero” or “Donna Dull” or go to salon and read the article called “They Called Me a Child Pornographer.”
How about this one: Jacqueline Mercado, a 33-year-old Peruvian immigrant, took a few photos of her young children at bath time. A week later, Richardson police were rummaging through her house for kiddie porn, and a state child welfare worker came to take her kids away.
The photo in question: Jacqueline Mercado and Johnny Fernandez say they took this image last October to memorialize the breast-feeding stage of their son’s life.
Having strong child porn laws is great and everything, but I think they need to be rewritten when innocent people get arrested more than the guilty ones.

James September 19, 2009, 4:00 PM

Why would you sue Walmart? They made a resposible decision to inform law enforcement of a possible case of child pornography. Obviously the responding officers felt that there was something innapropriate in the pictures for the case to have gone as far as it did. I have two children of my own and I have “bath-time” pictures, but they are taken in such a way that they can not be misconstrued in any way. The problem started with the parents using poor judgement in their pictures.

Cali September 19, 2009, 5:17 PM

In some states including CA the photolab (like many other professionals) would be required by law under the Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Act (fed. legislation passed in 1974), to report the photos. Walmart did the right thing. The question is why were the kids removed if they were not in eminent danger? and kept in custody for so long? What is sad is animals have more rights than children!Parents should really think twice…this is not 1970 those pics could have ended up in wrong hands.

SesshoumarusGirl September 19, 2009, 7:06 PM

This is beyond messed up, but this is why I would encourage people to print their pics at home!

t September 19, 2009, 8:22 PM

perhaps some of you didn’t realize, wal-mart isn’t being sued over turning the pictures over, they are being sued over not notifying the customer that that policy was there. personally, I didn’t see the pictures, neither did any of you. So, why down people when there are so many facts to be learned. You all speak of people being ignorant, yet you are being ignorant your self. let the jury decide. but i do agree, if walmart looses, many children who are suffering, may continue.

cj September 20, 2009, 9:01 AM

A nude child does not equal child porn. Sexually suggestive poses, and inappropriate situations are causes for child porn.

Children in a bathtub, playing, and acting like kids are not child porn.

Obviously the people here making stupid comments are not parents. You do not fully understand what having your child(ren) ripped away from you for a month is like. You don’t understand the stress, emotional distress and mental incapacity to understand the situation that a child in that situation goes through.

The children are the victims, not really the parents. The children were traumatized by being taken away from their parents.

Walmart should be sued, and their policy reviewed and possibly changed. No ‘real’ pedophile is going to take icky child porn to Walmart to get it freaking developed.

What happened ruined the lives of the children and their parents. Their reputation in their community is more than likely shattered. And the CPS in their city really needs to be reviewed.

Bryn September 20, 2009, 12:34 PM

I’m 71 year old grandmother and have pictures of my children in the bath, nude in a little rubber pool, etc. I still love looking at these beautiful children and remembering the fun they had getting water all over the place. I also have an ultrasound of my first granddaughter - I guarantee you, she was nude! What’s happening to us? What a shame to spoil a wonderful moment.

bfloxword September 21, 2009, 7:49 AM

Wal-Mart was acting in good faith, based on a bunch of history and law; the parents were doing nothing wrong. Authorities to whom the pictures were shown should simply have confirmed the kids and the parents belonged together and asked them to buy a digital camera.

Which begs the question: why would a child porn person, with digital and home computers available, have Wal-Mart develop pictures? Technology has moved beyond the policy.

Michelle September 21, 2009, 9:06 AM

I agree that mistakes were made by both parties. I don’t think that a lawsuit is in order. However, consider this:
How was Walmart to know that the person who took the photos of the naked children were, indeed, the parents? Sure, we have no problem with parents taking these kinds of pictures, but would we be okay if a babysitter, uncle, or neighbor took these photos of our kids in the tub? I don’t think so.

Anonymous September 21, 2009, 9:26 AM

These people are being ridiculous now. These are memories for a parent to share when their kids grow up. I hope the couple get several millions from Wal-Mart for their stupidity.

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