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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
sharon September 21, 2009, 10:06 AM

the U.S Supreme Court has ruled that where children are concerned, mere nudity does not constitute pornagraphy. the children must be in sexually suggestive poses for it to be legally considered pornographic. but this case does raise the thought; why is “pornographic” the first place the wal-mart employee mind went to. the police should have had enough sense to recognize that these pictures were innocent. if anyone thinks that bathing children is abuse, that indicates an unhealthy, or maybe even perverted attitude toward sex.

Pamala September 21, 2009, 10:52 AM

Okay the report out today is that the children where not in the bathtub, as reported but rather laying on a bath towel hugging each other. I don’t know I might find that a bit alarming not knowing the family or anything.

Rose September 21, 2009, 11:22 AM

If it is Wal Mart’s policy to turn over pictures of child porn or any porn for that matter, then they need to train the employee’s making that determination. They should know what the difference is in child porn and innocent bath time photos. That is a serious thing to accuse someone of and I would think you want to be real clear of the guidelines. Consequently, a family is in turmoil, children have been hurt and the family has a black mark against their name which may or may not ever be cleared. As a parent I cannot stand to see children abused, but I know the difference between abuse and having fun playing in the tub. What a shame the Wal Mart employee didn’t.

David September 21, 2009, 4:15 PM

This all just shows how sick this society is. The human body is essential to life, to consider nudity at any age indecent is what is sick and perverted. It’s this sick belief that the body is obscene that results in perversion and abuse.

These children where abused, not by the parents but by the officials who took them away. I hope the parents win HUGE settlements against the state and Walmart.

Body acceptance and good communication and education about sex would dramatically reduce sexual abuse and perversion. I was sexually abused, the worst part of that was the fear of what would happen if my family found out because of the shame they taught me. I believe with everything in me that if I had been brought up to feel good about my body and there had been healthy, open communication about sex, that abuse would have been minimized, if it had happened at all and it would have had very little impact on my life.

Shame = abuse!

Saturn September 21, 2009, 6:57 PM

Walmart sucks, go to Target.

Angie September 22, 2009, 2:37 AM

I think Wal-Mart was wrong in turning the parents in. They should have been able to use their common sense and see that only a few pics were of the girls in the tub (which I think every parent has of their kids). If it were a whole roll I would think differently but that wasn’t the case. I also think it was stupid that the kids be taken away for a month. How traumatic for them and the parents. I hope they get enough money back to send them all three to college with brand new sports cars.

Anonymous September 22, 2009, 2:48 AM

I believe that there is a difference in porn pics and a family just taking pics of their children in the tub hey who doesn’t have those pics they are cute. I have pics of my granddaughter in the tub acting like she is shaving her face with shaving cream all over her I thought it was cute. This world today so many things are taken out of proportion. If I was developing pics I am sure I would know the difference between porn and family pics.

daniele plumber September 22, 2009, 4:06 AM

I believe Walmart and the officials involved in this case just overreacted. Anyone who has the opinion that Walmart was in the right needs to put themselves in that parents’ shoes and ask themselves “Do I have pictures like thisin my house? Did my parents ever take pictures of me in the tub? If they did, were they sexually deviants?” Ask questions before judging and you may be surprised by the answer.

Stephanie M. Brown September 22, 2009, 4:28 AM

The Wal-Mart employee did the right thing by trying to protect innocent children. It was the state who was wrong. They should have realized the situation and should never have removed the kids.

Paul September 22, 2009, 4:36 AM

The WalMart staff did the right thing. It was the authorities that messed this up. The mandates of reporting child sexual abuse is that it “make you feel uncomfortable”. I do not want a world where a person is afraid to protect a child because they fear lawsuits.

Reb September 22, 2009, 4:41 AM

That’s a lot of pictures of bath time. I don’t know, I would have to see the pictures to decide if walmart made the right decision. There is always two sides to every story. I agree with another commenter above, better to be safe than sorry.

Sarah September 22, 2009, 4:47 AM

I think they could have handled it differently. As far as taking the kids away…. Way out of line

laura September 22, 2009, 4:57 AM

if i am a child porn person who takes photos of my kids in sexual positions i am certainly NOT going to go have them developed at Wal-Mart!!!! give me a break. more shame however, should be felt by the state for taking it so far. common sense went out the window and in the meantime i am sure there were plenty of REAL cases that slipped through the crack while they were on this wild goose chase. that is why they are being sued…not for the money, but to be held liable and to make sure they really do their jobs right!

Tomy September 22, 2009, 5:08 AM

Wal Mart was wrong!. I hope these parents win their suit.
We all have shop at Wal Mart at one time or another. They hire many smart people and some functioning morons. Well now Wal Mart will pay for thsi.
Its none of anyones business what people take pictures of. Even if its a cute 13 year old broad or a 30 year old broad. Females are on this earth for a mans pleasure. Wal Mart and all companies that process film needs to mind there own business and do there job and process the film and shut theirs months. Thank goodness for didital cameras…

Lisa September 22, 2009, 5:11 AM

First off Walmart employess have no training in determiningwhat is child porn and very little in film development, they should be sueing the policed dept and CPS once it was reported they have to invest but we all know how slow any goverment office is and that it took them a month to figure out that is was just bathtime pics (they we all have of our children) is cause for concern the children should have never been removed from the home and certainly not taken a month to make a decision. The parents of these 3 little girls are not sueing everyone the caused the stress to thier children. God bless them and wish them well

Chrissy September 22, 2009, 5:15 AM

I feel badly for the family that is caught up in this, but I believe the worker did what they should have. I know everyone is different, but after a certain age to me it just isn’t right to take nude pictures of kids. It’s different when they’re young, but when they’re starting to develop then it’s something that shouldn’t be photographed. I’m not judging at all, that’s just my opinion. I don’t agree with child porn at all, but people need to learn the difference between a picture of kids, and porn. They need to think about things thoroughly before reporting to the cops and tearing a family apart. I do hope everything turns out ok, and that the kids don’t suffer damage from this incident.

Deanna September 22, 2009, 5:42 AM

Years ago before digital cameras, I had lost 100 pounds. I had a friend take pictures of me. One of the pictures showed to much breast. Wal Mart would not develop the picture. There was a note in the envelope something to the effect “Some photos were not developed because of the nature of the pictures.” By the way they DID develop pictures of my kids in the bathtub. I also have one of my newborn breast feeding. That was not a problem to develop either. The picture of me, well let’s just say I had more of my breast covered then many of the bathing suits do! I guess it depends on who is doing the viewing!
I totally believe in protecting children. I wonder how many of the people who thought theses pictures were porn asked their parents..”Do you have pictures of me in the tub?

Fran B September 22, 2009, 5:56 AM

What a sad statement this story makes about today’s society! Just ten years ago this wouldn’t have happened. How many of us over the age of 25 have those embarrassing pictures in a family album?

The clerks at Wal-Mart were only following company policy and possbily the laws of Arizone. However the authorities should have had the common sense to see this for what it was; a cute picture opportunity.

Authorities need to spend less time harassing good parents and more time protecting children who are truly abused. If I were the parents I would sue them for emotional pain and suffering as well as for all future mental health help. Those poor children will undoubtedly have emotional scarring from being ripped away from a loving family and placed in the cold and harsh foster care system.

KristiD September 22, 2009, 6:18 AM

I think the whole hoopla over kid bath pics is ridiculous, HOWEVER, I know that I’ve been well aware for a long time that parents get turned in by the photo processing places for having any kind of nude kid photos. DCFS is well known for over-reacting, and I would never take that chance. I live in IL and here if there are any nude pictures of a child no matter what context DCFS and the police are called. Why take the chance?

Anna  September 22, 2009, 6:58 AM

Letting a Walmart employee make a decision on their own is always a bad idea.

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