Blowy Jesus

A Pennsylvania kid age 14 poses for a photo in which a statue of Jesus appears to be giving him a blow job, and posts the photo on Facebook (as one does).

Not the best fake blow job photo ever taken – but apparently that’s not why he’s been charged with a crime.

According to The Smoking Gun, police have invoked a rarely enforced Pennsylvania law that makes “Desecration of a Venerated Object” criminal. Violation of this law could land the teen in juvenile detention for two years.

Two years is a harsh sentence for juvenile shenanigans. Especially, when upon closer inspection, the teen’s actions don’t really fit the definition of the law. The formal charge is classified as a second degree misdemeanor. The violation is defined as “…desecration, theft or sale of a venerated object.” Pennsylvania law defines desecration as, “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities” of people who learn of or discover the action.

Except he didn’t do any of those things – unless “otherwise physically mistreating” covers “taking a picture with.” He did touch the statue, but it looks durable enough that he probably didn’t chip the hairdo. (It’s one hell of an ugly statue, I must say. Donatello it’s not.)

But they seriously want to throw him in jail for two years for this.

Bill Higgins, Bedford County District Attorney, who said of the teen, “He bragged about it — he was proud of it. He put it on his Facebook page and now he’s going to be held accountable for it.”

Jail. Two years. He’s fourteen.

This country is terrible sometimes.


  1. Sili says

    that makes “Desecration of a Venerated Object” criminal

    This could work to our advantage.

    Sue people when they try to shut down libraries and Planned Parenthood. I venerate those with a vengeance.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Almost certainly a Catholic statue – and the name Higgins suggests Catholic roots as well.

    Probably not enough to sustain a call for recusal, but no doubt this prosecution will earn the County’s attorney an attaboy or two from the local Vatican, Inc, franchise.

  3. quixote says

    I’d be a lot more impressed by the outrage of the police if they reacted with proportionate vigor to all the bragging pictures of actually torturing actual women that appear on Facebog.

  4. Ed says

    Quick, everyone come up with your own list of “venerated objects” that can’t be mocked!

    I’m a huge modern art enthusiast, so anyone who interrupts my enjoyment of a cubist exhibit by pointing out that the world doesn’t really look like that or stands behind me in the abstract expressionist section of a museum and jokes that their five year old could paint better than this thing, I’m calling the cops, dammit!

  5. Pichona says

    So the kid’s basically being charged with blasphemy and threatened with two years in jail? If this could be brought to the attention of some NGOs, maybe they could shame Pennsylvania out of this.

  6. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Are they not familiar with ‘The People Vs. Larry Flynt’?

    Someone call Larry and get him involved in this one. 🙂 Is he even still alive?

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