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Lying to Minors During Interrogations Should Be Illegal

New York Law Journal logo
Rule 603 (Oath or Affirmation to Testify Truthfully) of the Federal Rules of Evidence is unambiguous: “Before testifying, a witness must give an oath or affirmation to testify truthfully. It must be in a form designed to impress that duty on the witness’s conscience.” The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that similar language does not apply to police officers when they are interrogating a suspect. Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969). Nonetheless, a small number of states have banned police from lying or being deceptive when interrogating minors. New York should ...

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‘A Theoretical Impossibility’: As Attorneys Are Flooded With Plaintiffs Under Child Victims Act, a Legislative Push May Help

New York Law Journal logo
A partner in a New York City law firm suggests “it’s become a theoretical impossibility” to serve all the thousands of purported victims who are in need of legal representation for age-old allegations of sex abuse, after a 2019 reform measure extended the statute of limitation on cases. Attorney James Marsh, a partner with Marsh Law, said he figured to get about 100 clients who would file claims under the Child Victims Act of 2019, which allows the statute of limitations to begin running when a child turns 23 in a criminal case, and for civil suits to be ...

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Tears, Vindication and Relief: Maxwell Accusers React to Verdict

Bloomberg Equality
More than two years after the death of Jeffrey Epstein, his victims -- many of whom say they were children when they were abused by the disgraced financier -- have finally won through the conviction of his ex-girlfriend and accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell. Over the past month, Epstein and Maxwell accusers have watched the trial from inside the courtroom and read about it from afar. Some have expressed anxiousness about what the 12-person jury would make of the four women who took the stand to recount their abuse, and of the efforts made by the defense to ...

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Interviewing and Deposing Survivors of Sexual Crimes Who Have Intellectual Disabilities

New York Law Journal logo
Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) are the most likely victims of sexual assault. To be effective advocates, attorneys must be properly trained to interview and depose this survivor population. Even before a sexual assault becomes a “case”, many reporting hurdles face these survivors: Even if these survivors are capable of making a report, their credibility may be questioned simply because of their disability.If the survivor is living exclusively with a community caregiver who may also be the perpetrator, there may be limited opportunities ...

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The Nirvana baby is all grown up and ready to sue

On August 24, Spencer Elden filed a case to sue the rock band Nirvana.  A lot of people might not know his name, but they’ve most likely seen his face (or at least his baby face). One of Elden’s baby photos includes that of him submerged underwater and grabbing at a digitally imposed image of a bill on a hook.  The album has generally been known as a statement on capitalism, but Elden’s lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, describes the image of Elden in that photo as “like a sex worker” as he reaches out for the bill while nude underwater. “Defendants ...

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Was the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s smash album ‘Nevermind’ exploited? Most definitely

Los Angeles Times Logo
In the photo, the baby floats below the surface of the aquamarine water, posed like a skydiver, with outstretched arms. The 4-month-old appears to be reaching for a $1 bill baited on a fishhook. His tiny penis is visible, dangling in the water. Featured on the cover of Nirvana’s second album, “Nevermind,” it is one of the more iconic images in rock ’n’ roll history. The album, containing the monster hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” has sold at least 30 million copies and is still available anywhere music is sold. “The money is peanuts compared to what ...

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Attorney for ‘Nirvana Baby’ Explains Why They Believe the ‘Nevermind’ Cover Is Child Porn

A jury has yet to vote, if the case should make it to court, on whether the former members of Nirvana and their associates sexually exploited a child by putting an unclothed 4-month-old boy on the cover of the classic 1991 album “Nevermind.” But the general public has done a lot of weighing in on the merits of the lawsuit filed by 30-year-old Spencer Elden over the image. And there’s a lot of sympathy for the fact that Elden’s family was only ever paid $200 for a photo seen on a reported 30 million album covers and untold further millions of merch items. That ...

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Nevermind That Nirvana Child Pornography Lawsuit, Attorneys Say

Nirvana's 1991 album cover featuring a naked baby in a pool is now at the center of a debate about the line between art and child pornography. While some seasoned litigators tell THR there's nothing "a reasonable person would see as sexual about that image," the lawyer for the man in the photo insists it's child exploitation material. Elden’s attorney James Marsh, whose practice focuses on victims of sex abuse, insists permission wasn’t given. “Our understanding is there was no release,” he says. “In a culture in which we are trying to uphold consent as one ...

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Chris Cuomo argues with lawyer representing man suing Nirvana for child pornography

On Cuomo Prime Time Wednesday, Chris Cuomo sparred with Maggie Mabie, a lawyer representing Spencer Elden, who appeared naked as a baby on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind. Elden is now suing the two surviving members of the band, Dave Grohl and Krist Novocelic, along with many others, alleging child pornography. Cuomo’s thoughts on the lawsuit were evident from the very beginning of the interview. After playing a short clip of the video for the first single off the album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” ...

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Nirvana sued by man who was nude baby on ‘Nevermind’ cover

A 30-year-old man who appeared nude at 4 months old in 1991 on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album is suing the band and others, alleging the image is child pornography they have profited from. The lawsuit, filed by Spencer Elden on Tuesday in federal court in California, alleges that Nirvana and the record labels behind “Nevermind” “intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense.” The lawsuit says Elden has suffered “lifelong ...

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