Just Another Guy with Opinions

How a Photo Can Ruin Your Life

Posted by shadmia on May 16, 2007


Have you ever taken a photograph of your kids naked? You could be arrested just like grandma Marian Rubin or father Jeffrey B. I know this sounds ridiculous but this could easily happen to anyone who owns a camera and wants to catch their kids doing the cute kinds of things that kids often do. In the name of fighting child pornography the FBI has issued blanket requests to photo processing labs and computer repair shops in some cities to be on the lookout for pictures of kids in compromising positions, urging them to call the authorities whether they’re sure or not about a picture’s legality.

Three-year-old Sarah M.sarah-m.jpg is either a toddler in her birthday suit playing in the garden, or a nude temptress with a sultry look who requires protection from the culprits who took this photograph — her doting parents. Tragically for a number of people all over the country, innocent family photos turned over to the police have led to financial ruin, divorce, debt, public humiliation, and lifelong scorn as a registered sex offender for mothers and fathers. Here’s how a zealous prosecutor could view Sarah M.’s picture: Smoldering eyes; styled, tousled blond tresses; pouty, parted lips; splayed legs; an engorged navel. And that viscous liquid dripping from the wand onto her thigh? Money shot.

Some cases involved pictures much less provocative than Sarah M.’s. Based on the way prosecutors interpreted photos in a few of those cases — Marian Rubin, a New Jersey grandmother charged for taking nude photos of her granddaughters, then aged 3 and 8; and Jeffrey B., a New York father who lost custody of his two daughters after he shot pictures of them mooning him — it’s possible to spot red flags where our innocence used to be. Just because they didn’t shoot the picture for the purpose of sexual stimulation doesn’t mean parents who just want to document their child’s garden years can’t get stuck in the sordid world of pedophilia.

Below are the stories of Marian Rubin and Jeffrey B. both of whom have had their lives turned upside down after taking nude pictures of their kids.


In early 2000, Marian Rubin’s granddaughters, Amy, then 8, and Kayla, then 3, were dancing naked on her bed before bath time, strutting their best Britney and Christina moves. In still photos, they must have looked posed. The night that she was arrested, after picking up the nude pictures of the girls at a local MotoPhoto outlet — Rubin, an experienced and award-winning art and children’s photographer, insists that she never intended to publish these photos — Montclair, NJ, police went to the girls’ home and had their parents wake them up.

“They asked totally inappropriate questions,” says Rubin, who is now 72. “‘Did Granny get undressed, too? Did Granny touch you? Did Granny touch herself?’ They threatened my son and daughter that, if they didn’t cooperate, the kids would be taken away.”

Rubin wrote a book, Naked Truths (, detailing her outrage at what she calls vigilante film processors, and she excoriates cops and prosecutors for being unable to admit they’d made a mistake.

On her lawyer’s advice, she took a deal called a “Pretrial Intervention” that amounted to conditional probation but left her with no criminal record. She now regrets not taking the case to trial. Even though a federal judge later found the pictures to be “totally inoffensive,” Rubin is still paying off the $30,000 debt.

“I haven’t taken a nude picture since,” says Rubin, who has won awards for nude bodyscape photography. “Portraiture was my thing. They took away my innocence, constricted my vision, brainwashed me into seeing things differently. They definitely changed my pictures of children.”


Jeffrey B. (he requested his last name not be printed to protect his daughters) was divorced and had custody of his two girls, then aged 4 and 7, until a Genovese drugstore photo lab in the New York City borough of Queens inserted a note into a packet of his prints that said several shots had been turned over to police. Seven years later — after four weekends in jail, three years on probation, mandated therapy, losing custody of his daughters, contemplating suicide, and incurring about $300,000 in lawyer’s fees and loss of incomehe’s a registered sex offender and has no contact with his children.

The lawyer who handled his appeal, Joseph Klempner, who also wrote Irreparable Damage, a novel based on the case, says Jeffrey B. is “destroyed,” and has not taken a single picture in seven years. “I’d stake my life on the fact that all he was doing was taking cute photos of his kids,” says Klempner, who saw the offending pictures.According to Klempner, the prosecutor said she found the silk sheets on the bed where the 7-year-old’s picture was taken “very telling.” The girl had mooned her father, and he snapped a picture from across the room. “It would take the Hubble Telescope” to see her unmentionables, relates Klempner.

In the other offending photo, the girls are shot from below, sans bathing suit bottoms, as they pretend to read books. A crucial fact in Jeffrey’s conviction: One girl testified that Daddy posed them.

It is a sad commentary when parents who obviously love and dote on their kids can be arrested and imprisoned for taking pictures of their own kids in the buff. Maybe next time someone will be arrested for changing diapers in an inappropriate place.




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13 Responses to “How a Photo Can Ruin Your Life”

  1. Someone SURELY lost the mind !!!

    Shocked at the incredulity-ridiculity of this all,


  2. Candy said

    This is why their are so many murders and theifs out their because police would rather waste their time trying to arrest gramdmothers and single fathers who just like to capture precious memories of their children.

  3. Jay said

    That is sooo wrong like wtf!!!
    I mean there, there parents and its like they seen them naked before and will see them again because the children are young. I mean omg if the child is ok and seem happy than why borther
    that is what is wrong with this world
    we worry about stupid stuff

  4. kashifalvi said

    hahahah stupid country and its law.

  5. Sven said

    i hate this stupid shit damn -.-“””” and no i am 21 so i am not a kid i know where i am talking about but since they are forcing that everything directly is pedophilia stuff with theyr freaking pre-protection shit they’ll ruin alot of human lifes …..

  6. Ronda said

    Unfortunatly we live in a day and age that what we deem as “innocent” pictures of our kids can be a gold mine for pedophilia.

    How stupid could a person be to then take these photos to a film developer, not knowing who is seeing these pictures and how easy it would be for them to make prints of their own and then easily distribute to child molesters or post them on the internet? Or even if you think they are safe on your own home computer, have you not heard of computers being hacked into and personal files being stolen?

    It is just beyond stupid to think you just have to have pictures of your kids naked. I have a seven year old and I have volumes of gorgeous photographs of him, all of him with clothes on.

  7. Alishis said

    U can make photos of u childs nude .. so dont say no one or publish!!!!!


  8. Beto said

    Well I sincerely think that the law is totally wrong in these cases, what’s wrong if parents want to capture those special moments with their children?

    what i would do is to get a digital camera and burn the photos bymyself to avoid this type of problems and not letting other people see the photos at the same time because for you it can be a special moment while for a pedophile can be precious stuff or another person might think that you are the pedophile …… that’s why I say it’s private you can just burn the pictures by youself, keep those special moments and avoid this ridicolous acusations cause you don’t need to know what other people think about your photos, as long as you don’t do anything bad everything is ok.

  9. George said

    Let the kids be nude, they take no hurt. People who don’t let little kids be naked is the ones who’s hurting them.

  10. Richard Cashman said

    What the #$@ is the problem here people???!!! We are all people! I have been a nudist for over 20 years. In fact, the year my first child was born my wife came down with cancer (Diagonised 6 weeks after our son was born). She was given only 6 months to live and wanted to try going to a nudist beach. Even after 14 major surgeries, she never felt shelf conscious there. When we visited with our newborn son, no one gawked (Made her happy with hersef). Before she died, she made me promise I would never make him feel ashamed of being human. What the $#@# is the problem!!! If we are made in god’s image, what the $#W@#$ are we ashamed of???!!!! What a croc! Am now remarried and have 4 kids (2 girls and 2 boys). None of which are ashamed of their bodies. Grow up folks!!!

  11. GIDDY said

    What George says makes a lot of sense we should not bully children
    into being something we want them to be

  12. fidelity said

    I received a picture of a baby boy with the front of his clothing cut out and a cup with a hole in it with his penis in the cut out. The picture was suppose to be some kind of joke about why you should never leave the dad baby sitting.

    I told the person that sent the picture to me, that I thought, the picture was illegal, pornographic and child abuse. His reply was that he thought it was funny and that it was legal because it was on a legal website.

    I went on the web looking to see if this kind of picture was legal. I could not find any law that said it was illegal. As a mother, I would file charges if someone photographed my baby like this and then posted it on the web as a joke!!!

  13. mr truth said

    well its impostrass that the guverment are takeing all our lifes we cant even take a picture of our children naked their is nothink rong with it
    putting it on the internet is nothink rong with that as long as its secured and only your frinds could see them but i think if thats the case garry gliter could not be aloud he should be shot or killd on the spot..
    wat is ron with people thes day babys are cute when their naked same as children we are all equally made to do things look at adam and ev they where the first to be naked as children aswell a an adult so i think it should be aloud

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