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Police Visit Blogger Who Posted Nude Toddler Photos; Free Speech Experts Raise Questions

Posted Aug 17, 2011 9:07 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A sports law blogger has removed nude pictures of a star quarterback’s 20-month-old son after a visit from police with the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.

Blogger David Portnoy tells the Boston Globe he decided “it would be in the best interest of everybody involved” if he removed the photos of Tom Brady’s son. The photos, snapped by paparazzi, showed the boy playing on a Costa Rica beach without clothes. Portnoy’s web post “crudely remarked about the size of the boy’s genitalia,” the Globe says.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said police were dispatched as part of a preliminary investigation to determine whether the post violated child exploitation or other laws. But several First Amendment experts who spoke to the Globe questioned whether the visit pressured Portnoy to give up his First Amendment rights.

Lawyers said Portnoy probably didn’t violate child pornography laws because there was no “lascivious intent.” Some thought the photos may have violated the child’s privacy rights, however.

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