Nice to see all the legal experts and amateur psychiatrists weighing in on this one...
the admiration of the human body should not be against the law! should we like animals or what?
SpeakUp...Okay, fine. You, of course, are right and I, of course, am wrong. Of course, I never mentioned black helicopters or jack-booted thugs, but I'm wrong. This guy didn't kidnap, rape or strangulate any kids -- in fact, he never touched them, but I'm wrong and am big enough to admit it. Yeah, I'm wrong, but that guy is going to the jug for almost two years and I'm not celebrating about it, but, of course, I'm wrong. He never hurt anyone, but I'm wrong because he violated an obscure law about taking pictures that was passed to control a different (and REAL) problem. I mistakenly believed that his life mattered somehow. He didn't violate anyone's expectation of privacy, but I'm wrong because I thought the cop shouldn't have arrested him. I understand that cops NEVER do anything wrong because, well, you know, they're cops and no cop could ever be wrong.
Arguellez is going to prison and his life is ruined. You can gloat. As for me, I'm done with this. I can't change the outcome and I can't convince you that no harm was done. But it doesn't mean that I'm not gonna be wrong in your eyes in the future.
I can't believe you're so fixated on putting people in jail who haven't harmed anyone. This was a bad application of the law. Nobody knows what his reasons were for taking the pictures, as you admit, even YOU don't know what was in his mind. If you are so much in favor of the government micro-managing everything a citizen does, there are many countries around the world where you would perhaps feel comfortable. Unfortunately, the US is becoming more like them all the time every time the congress and state legislatures meet. As for me, I don't like Arkansas so I'll stay here and fight against government control of our lives till my last breath. This discussion, though, has gone on long enough.
waywarwind- You are correct that I cannot know for sure what his intentions were in regards to these photos. I can only infer from his own personal sworn statement in front of a Dewitt County judge that he IS indeed guilty of two seperate accounts of both taking pictures of people without their permission AND using those pictures for his own sexual gratification. He had a chance to argue all the technicalities you bring up in front of a jury of his peers. He could have even said that it is his first amendment right to have said pictures, but he did not. He chose to say that he was indeed guilty of Texas Penal Code 21.15 and accepted responsibility for his action.
If you feel that it is necessary to defend those that willingly acknowledge that, on multiple occasions, committed felonies that are defined as sex crimes according to the state of Texas, than please move to Arkansas.
Mike5011..."If you cannot understand why this man recieved the punishment he did, than you don't understand the seriousness of sexual assault on children."
Did I miss something here? Now these pictures are sexual assault on children? If you put me on a jury trying someone who actually sexually assaulted, or raped a child, I'll be happy to vote to send him (or her) to the pen. That didn't happen in this case. For reasons I will not go into here on this forum, I DO understand about the molestation of children by adults. I understand how it can affect families and I understand the pain and suffering it causes. This guy didn't molest anybody. He took some pictures without obtaining permission. Some on here seem to KNOW what was in his head -- what his intentions were. If you're that good at knowing what another person is thinking, what am I thinking now?
"This man's intent was to take pictures of childrens genitals through their bathing suit so that he could recieve sexual pleasure by viewing them."
That must be SOME camera if it can take pictures through the swim suit's materiel and lining.
"But graphic pictures of children (whether you would agree that they are pornographic or not) are DIRECTLY RELATED to actual assaults on children."
Again, he didn't assault anybody, child or adult.
Holeinone..."I guess it's the law that you have a problem with? What's wrong with taking hidden camera shots in dressing rooms and restrooms? If they never knew the camera was there, then who was harmed? Right?"
It's not the law I have a problem with but the APPLICATION of the law in THIS case. The hidden camera shots you refer to in dressing rooms and restrooms are a completely different thing. In the dressing rooms and restrooms, people have an expectation of privacy -- you know, doors with locks -- that is totally lacking at a swimming pool or on a beach.
SpeakUp...I'm NOT trying to make the police the bad guys here, but it was a cop who arrested this guy. Tell me, if he hadn't had a camera but was looking through a pair of binoculars, would you still be upset, or freaked as some have said, about his incident? Can a person be charged with being a peeping Tom if he's looking at a public swimming pool where people are wearing skimpy swim suits? As long as he wasn't doing anything overtly nasty while looking, do you think he would have committed an offense? Is it the CAMERA you're objecting to and not the fact that he could see young girls (as well as adults) in their swim suits?
Thought he had more of the serial killer look than the pedophile look to him. My stereotype radar must be off. In any case... for punishment they should dress him up in a bikini and take pictures of him.
waywardwind, you seem intent on defending this guy, but I don't think you really understand how are justice system works. For a crime to take place, there doesn't need to be an actual victim, just the potential for a victim. INTENT is one of the most important things when deciding if a crime takes place. examples:
DWI- whether or not you cause an accident is irrelevant, it is still illegal to drink and drive because YOU MIGHT cause an accident.
posession of drugs with INTENT to sell= If you have 100 little bags of cocaine and scales, you will be charged with INTENT to distribute, whether or not you get caught actually selling them.
The opposite also holds true:
-It is not illegal to shoot a person if your INTENT is to prevent that person from attacking you with a knife.
-It is not illegal to rip off a womans shirt if she is a heart attack victim and you're INTENT is to give CPR/use an AED to shock he heart
This man's intent was to take pictures of childrens genitals through their bathing suit so that he could recieve sexual pleasure by viewing them. It sounds pretty bad when you actually say what he was doing and this is the less graphic version of what was going on. I could get a lot more graphic, but I think that it is probably unnecessary. He plead GUILTY to this charge fully understanding what the sentence would be, AND he was caught doing this MULTIPLE TIMES.
More than that, there IS a tangeble victim. That victim is the community at large. Vice crimes are a crime not only against the individual person, but also against the community. Prostitution, Pimping, drug abuse, and pedophilia make your community a bad place to live. Young children, boys and girls, shouldn't have to fear that pedophiles are lurking in their cars watching them and the police and courts don't care. Yorktown has shown with this ruling that pedophiles are not welcome in their town.
Did this man actually touch any of the kids, no. But graphic pictures of children (whether you would agree that they are pornographic or not) are DIRECTLY RELATED to actual assaults on children. The state of Texas has made a law that says that they acknowledge this. This man was tried under this law. He admitted that he broke this law. He deserves the time in prison he got.
If you cannot understand why this man recieved the punishment he did, than you don't understand the seriousness of sexual assault on children. I would worry about your state of mind and be wary of the things that you do. . .
What purpose would someone have for taking crotch shots? I guess he is a tailor and was inspecting fits so he would know how to pattern his next line?
We will have to agree to disagree. I cannot convince you that what he did was wrong and broke the law, you will never be able to convince me that what he was doing was innocent and just should be looked at as odd behavior. I guess it's the law that you have a problem with? What's wrong with taking hidden camera shots in dressing rooms and restrooms? If they never knew the camera was there, then who was harmed? Right?
I guess the only person who can really shed some light on this would be Arguellez.
Kyle, it's not even close.
"Arguellez was first arrested on July 31, 2009, outside the swimming pool in the Cuero municipal park."
"After being released from jail, he was re-arrested three days later for similar conduct that occurred July 30, 2009, at the swimming pool at the Yorktown Country Club."
Does that make sense to anyone? Three days later but a day before?????
Japanese internment camps, anyone?
"Having a 55 year old man take zoom photos of their crotches is something to be concerned about."
Why? You still have given no suggestion as to who was harmed. The pictures might be creepy and he might be a half-bubble off of plumb, but he has harmed no one. I see no difference between a photo and seeing that which he was photographing in person. There was no indication in the story about his having any kiddie porn in his home or otherwise in his possession. He took pictures without permission. The photos he took do NOT rise to the level of porn, nor to the level where somebody took a picture in a dressing room of another person undressed. I don't think that's worth almost two years in jail.
Is he a person who hasn't crossed the line into kiddie porn yet but might if he takes pictures of kids? I don't know. Neither do you. Nobody knows what someone else MIGHT do in the future. We cannot put people into jail as a pre emptive measure. THAT is a slope we certainly don't want to start down.
www- I think that your arguments are weak. The fact that you do not have children, nor the desire to have them, speaks to why you probably don't understand how the rest of us feel. Letting your 11 year old daughter wear a bikini isn't something we should be concerned with. Having a 55 year old man take zoom photos of their crotches is something to be concerned about.
You're right, if he was not taking pictures, but sitting poolside with his sunglasses on watching the little girls, people probably wouldn't have said much. However, he probably would have fared a lot worse had he been sticking his face inches away from those crotches to get the same perspective as his zoom camera.
You've mentioned the fact that the paper had pictures of girls in bikinis, the contest photo, etc, but it's not the same thing. The girls in those pictures knew they were being photographed, knew the intent of the picture, and their crotches were not being zoomed in on. Apples and oranges.
I'm no prude, but I have to agree with the law on this one.
Another sicko, potential pedophile off the streets. This was probably just the beginning of this guys warped fantasies that involve young girls.Get him Leroy...
He may not be wired up the same way as most of us, but he doesn't deserve two years in prison. So he gets his jollies by looking at pictures. Yeah, and...........Would you object if he didn't have a camera and just went inside the pool's fenced area to look at the girls up close and personal and then went home with his memories? Remember, he took no nude photos. He touched no one. If the cop hadn't arrested him, no one would know and no one would be upset. Excuse me, I believe "freaked" is the correct term. If parents are worried that their little darlin's are showing too much, maybe they should get them a one piece swim suit.
I think he is a Sick Man, and these are the people we need to watch out for with Our children. It seems Odd to me that he would be taking photgraphs of Little girls in their swimming attire. And also he took the time to go to a few pools to do this at. Excuse me if I am wrong for saying: but i think this is how sickos get their kicks and also have photos to fantasize with. I think he needs some Serious Help.
What he did wasn't very nice, I guess, but no, I don't think what he did is worth a couple years in the jug. I don't have a daughter so I don't know how I'feel about it in that case, but, perhaps you can tell me just exactly HOW anybody was harmed here.
So waywardwind, just for the record, are you saying that it is okay to secretly photograph the crotches of young girls at the pool? Would you want this guy shooting extreme close-ups of your daughters pubic area while she was just playing with her friends? I'd really like to know. . .
It's still nasty. Against the law? No. But his intentions were not to make a scrapbook and the title be Summer Time Fun at the Pool. If it was my child I would freak out.
Arlene, Arlene...A defendant who pleads does not go before a jury. So no nullification since there is no jury. He did NOT plead guilty to child pornography. He pled to the charge of improper photography. Please note the difference. And I can understand the plea to avoid having to face a jury loaded with people who see evil in everything someone ELSE does. I don't believe he did anything so bad he should go to jail for almost two years. The kids of whom he took the pictures weren't harmed. Heck, they didn't even know about it until the "grown-ups" got all panicky. I guess the kids will all have to go to shrinks to heal themselves from the trauma of being photographed in the same swimsuit that a hundred or more other people saw them wearing in person even though the pictures don't identiy the girls and the people who saw them in person knew who they were.
I do have to ask how it was that your friend saw the pictures. They were in his camera (I'm assuming here that it was digital and not a film camera) and when the cops took him in, they confiscated the camera. How and when did your friend see the photos that so enraged a community? Is she a cop?
I never saw a comment from you about the picture in the Advocate about the girls IN BIKINIS who were the subject of a photograph that happened to win a contest. I am gonna go out on a limb here and guess you DON'T think that picture was child porn. One picture with four girls in bikinis is prize winning art and another with only one girl in a bikini is porn? Talk about defending the indefensible!
Dear Yorktown Police & judge
Thanks for up holding your oath as a public servant, protecting the public is a high calling in the economy of God. I know its not easy to maintain your vission while being criticised by some of the people you are trying to serve. But even if its just one person you save it will be worth all the spidle that you may have to wipe off your face.When we live for others you are staring eternal life right in the face.
Thanks & God bless GW
Sorry, I accidentally deleted my first post while trying to correct my most recent comment. Since it is necessary to make sense of the current discussion thread, I hereby re-post it.
"A friend of mine was at the pool that day and testified at the trial. She saw the photos, and says that they were extreme close-up photos taken from the breast to crotch area only. One photo was taken of a little girl sitting by the pool with her knee bent and her legs slightly parted. He took a close-up photo of her crotch area only. I don't think I need to say more."
Yes, I've heard of jury nullification. O.J. Simpson comes to mind. This man pled guilty! You would want a case of jury nullification when a man pleads guilty to child pornography? What planet do you live on? You've already admitted clause A. The defendant himself satisfied clause B by pleading guilty. You are trying to defend the indefensible. Any volunteers who believe in this man's innocence are welcome to send pictures of their daughters to him in his jail cell to help him wile away the lonely hours.
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Arlene...Yeah, I read the statute. I also read the "and" between A and B. That "and" means that BOTH elements must be satisfied in order for an offense to have been committed. I don't KNOW why he was taking pictures. Somehow, I doubt the cop did either. This is one of those infamous "GOTCHA" charges. The law was passed because people were sneaking pictures in the potty or dressing room of unsuspecting people on their cell phone cameras. Stopping that was the intent of the bill that was passed. Now, this guy has run afoul of a cop and district attorney who think that taking pictures outside at a public swimming pool is somehow the same as sneaking into a restroom and using the camera function on a cell phone to take pictures of people taking a potty break.
Once again, these pictures showed nothing that the kids weren't showing to anyone who was in the pool area that day. Some bikinis don't cover a lot. Perhaps Fairly01 is right and the parents should have been concerned that their little darlings were showing too much skin in their swim suits. I fail to see the difference between the girls showing their bodies in a swim suit and someone seeing the same thing in a photograph. Would you have wanted the guy to be arrested if he didn't have the camera, but was lying on the ground and looking intently at the kids?
I will grant you that he was wrong in not obtaining permission for the pictures, but none of us knows that he was in violation of part B.
"Is the jury supposed to just disregard the way the law is written in favor of how they think it should be written?"
Yes. It even has a name. It's called jury nullification. Sometimes, a jury will get up on its hind legs and tell the prosecutor, the judge and the legislature that the law is wrong and even if the defendant was in violation, the jury, in its wisdom, refused to convict.
Perhaps someone would explain for just what non-pornographic reason a person might take crotch shots of little children?
Windy, I refer you to the gray box to the right above detailing Texas Penal Code 21.15
It says: IMPROPER PHOTOGRAPHY OR VISUAL RECORDING:A person commits an offense if the person
1) Photographs or by videotape or other electronic means visually records another:
(A) Without the other person's consent; and
(B) With intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Now, you can disagree with whether the law ought to be written this way or not. But the fact is that it IS written this way. The photos by law do not have to be of nudes or for financial profit. Is the jury supposed to just disregard the way the law is written in favor of how they think it should be written?
It might not bother you if some guy were taking crotch shots of your little girl, but there were plenty of parents freaked out by this incident.
Holein1..."The guy pleaded guilty. If you're not doing anything wrong, then why plead guilty?"
I think he might've pleaded guilty because his lawyer explained to him that with so many like you in the jury pool, that he'd probably be found guilty if he went to trial and possibly face more time. He probably pleaded because it was the best he could get. There was someone else around here who did the same thing. Remember the former sheriff of Victoria County? He'd been convicted in the press -- and to a large extent on this forum -- by people who would be in the jury pool. He plead to a lesser charge to remain out of prison where, as a former cop, he'd not have an easy time. Anything, even a guilty plea to something you didn't do, to stay out of prison makes sense to me.
The guy with the camera didn't hurt anybody, didn't touch anybody. Arlene, the pictures your friend says she saw weren't nudes, were they? The girls weren't in their underwear, were they? The pictures didn't show anything (bikini top, bottom and belly button) that the girls weren't showing to everyone at the pool, did they? They weren't pornographic, were they? Has anyone suggested that they were for sale? According to you, they didn't show faces, so they weren't identifiable in the pictures. This guy got hosed by the cops and the DA. I'd expect that in Victoria County, but not DeWitte County.
Maybe he pleaded guilty because his incompetant lawyer played games with his head or something....if this guy was charged so heavily because of previous charges and maybe he was on probation, they should have stated so. I agree with everyones postings...this is ridiculous and totally blown out of line. They are just making an example of him....
Will, you're missing the point of my post. The guy pleaded guilty. If you're not doing anything wrong, then why plead guilty?
Hoelin1, what was the guy's intention? This is supposed to be a free society. Only he knows what his motives were at the time. This law was passed I think when people started secretly taking photos of people in restrooms, changing rooms, etc. This is only another example of losing our rights because of perceivedmoral values. I have seen the "ladies" that hang around the mentioned pools and find them more repulsive than the actions of this man.
The guy entered a plea of guilty. Sounds like he knew the true intent of his actions and agreed that what he was doing was against the law. WTF? Do you really think this is an instance of the law walking on someone's rights? Seriously?
What kind of photographer hangs out by the pool taking pictures of pre-pubescent girls, especially if none belong to him? Closeups?
Listen to some of your supporting arguments for this guy and his behavior. Baffling.
Fairley01..." Should the mothers of little girls who allow their daughters to wear such bathing attire accept some of the responsibility?"
Responsitility for what? The mothers weren't the ones who arrested this guy. Their daughters were appropriately dressed for swimming in a public pool. It's the cops who were out of line.
Just curious, were there pics of other kids, (babies, boys, families) maybe he just likes taking pictures. Was the 8x10 of someone close to him or someone who didn't know him? I would hope his attorney posted these questions for a jury! If he truly had sexual intent, than he deserves to be incarcerated, but if he didn't, he needed a better (high $$$$) attorney.
I don't know the particulars of the case, nor just what was enlarged to 8X10 or what the mans intent for the pictures might have been. That said: Should the mothers of little girls who allow their daughters to wear such bathing attire accept some of the responsibility? I agree with some of the other posters. If you are in public, you have no expectation of privacy. If the man had been standing under a set of steps photographing up a woman's skirt; that would be problematic.
Better hide the pictures of 6th street during the Lone Star Rally in Austin...
I better hide my photos of the Mardi Gras celabration on one of Brazil's Famous Beaches in front of my hotel.
Good God! This is making my head hurt.
This is a bizarre case. What if he were at Waikiki Beach? He might go into psychological overload! Maybe he can share stories with...what was that attorney's name? Oh wait, that was child porn. Nevermind.
Only in Victoria...Good old boys...Ratcliff lied to a grand jury in October, District Attorney Stephen Tyler asked if Ratcliff had sex with the man who accused him of sexual assault, or if Ratcliff made unwanted or sexual advances toward his accuser. Ratcliff told the grand jury he had not. If the judge accepts the plea, in exchange for the admission, Ratcliff, 50, will serve 10 years’ probation instead of prison time. Luitjen will also throw out Ratcliff’s October indictment on aggravated sex assault charges. The indictment charged Ratcliff with sexually assaulting his accuser in 1997, when Ratcliff was sheriff. (how long had this been going on with others?)Man and wife possess pictures of children, man has picture on his computer, man takes pictures at public swimming pool = Jail time...In Victoria, is it permissible to actually sexually abuse a person, but we do not condone having/taking pictures...Although, his/their practice and/or motives are questionable is it illegal?
How have we allowed taking pictures taken in public to become criminal.Where's Steve Tyler when it comes to the VA and these advetisements?And this guys is a creep, but that is not criminal.
Familyman1122...You don't have to go to the Sears catalog. Just look at yesterday's Advocate. You'll see a picture of four young girls in bikinis on the beach jumping for joy. We better hope the Cuero cops don't show up at the Advocate's door with an arrest warrant. The picture in the Advocate won best in show in a photography contest! Seems to me that bikinis are appropriate attire for girls at swimming pools. These pictures were taken at public pools where there is NO expectation of privacy. The dirty minds here belong to the cops and prosecutors.
Sorry, SpeakUp, I know how much you enjoy seeing people who get in trouble with the law. The cops were wrong to arrest Arguellez for taking pictures and the prosecutors were wrong to go forward with the charges.
Does this mean that bikinis are going to be outlawed because of the possible intent? Security cameras should be on the way out. And I better get dressed before getting out of the shower just in case.
I've seen pics of little girls in swimsuits in sears catalog. They are the same age. So what is the problem with this weirdo's pics. Other than the fact he did not have permission to take the photos. The Vic Ad had published photos of little girls in bathing suits so I don't see what he did as so wrong. Yes he should be punished for his intentions for not for the photos. He was taking pics of some kids having fun in the pool. That is life in South Texas. What did he do that was so wrong. Were the kids indecent? No! There was no sexual intent mentioned. What is so wrong with pics of children at a pool? Were they in compromising positions? Was there any touching involved? No! All he did was take a pic of some kids in and around the pool. Did he try to lead the kids to his van or automobile? No! What he did was a little strange but not illegal. Look at the Sears summer Catalog and look at the swim suit section. You will see my point. There is no difference between his photos and those in the catalog.
This man needs a better attorney!
Nobody here offended the VA rules. Unless the name "parkpork" is a violation since it is pretty clear what and who that name is attacking. Just saying.