Aug. 31 -- Citing the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union is defending a group that supports pedophilia against a civil suit filed by the family of a molested and slain Massachusetts boy.
The parents of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages from the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) for the 1997 rape and murder of their son. Another defendant in the suit is the Web provider, Verio Inc., for hosting the NAMBLA Web site.
The suit accuses NAMBLA of inciting Jeffrey’s murder and rape at the hands of Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari through its literature and Web site — which is now offline. Both men were convicted of killing Jeffrey in separate trials and are serving life sentences.
According to the Curley’s suit, Jaynes was a member of NAMBLA under an alias at the time of the slaying. Jaynes, the plaintiffs say, had viewed the NAMBLA Web site shortly before the murder. NAMBLA literature showing members how to gain children’s trust, gain access to children nationwide, and avoid police investigating pedophilia cases were also found in Jaynes’ car and apartment, the lawsuit alleges.
Targeted For Beliefs
ACLU officials say NAMBLA denies encouraging the rape and murder of anyone.
According to the ACLU, the suit is designed to stifle the dissemination of the group’s unpopular beliefs: advocating consensual sexual relationships between adult men and boys and abolishing age-of-consent-laws that classify adult sex with children as rape. Plus, NAMBLA should not be punished for the crimes of two men and their beliefs should be protected, despite their unpopularity.
“There was nothing in those publications or Web site which advocated or incited the commission of any illegal acts, including murder or rape,” said John Roberts, executive director of the ACLU’s Massachusetts chapter. “NAMBLA’s publications advocate for changes in society’s views about consensual sex between adults and minors. This advocacy is political speech protected by the First Amendment.”