Pictures pose privacy concerns

LESLIE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The pictures are shocking. Two young children holding marijuana joints in their mouths, pretending to smoke them.

WKYT first told you about the Southeastern Kentucky mother arrested for taking the photos Sunday. The Leslie County Sheriff's Office arrested her after being tipped off by a business developing the pictures, but is that a violation of a parent's privacy?

Leslie County Sheriff's deputies arrested a mother and grandmother because of what they saw in the photographs - children with joints in their mouths. The deputies tell us they first learned about the photos from store managers developing the pictures.

"Every person in the state has a legal obligation to report any suspected or known abuse of a child. In this case, where you've got the drugs and the child of course that's certainly the very least suspicion of abuse," explained WKYT's Crime Tracker Officer Don Evans, a retired Lexington Police detective.

Officer Don says when it comes to child abuse or child neglect there is a general, legal obligation to report it. The business that developed the pictures of marijuana plants and children with the illegal drug did just that.

"They did the right thing and reported it."

Officer Don says the business did not violate privacy laws in this case. When child abuse and neglect are in question, he says there is no privacy protection.

"Privacy in this case isn't an issue because the law sort of super cedes that. It obligates a person to report abuse or neglect of a child. So one should not be afraid of that. You're gonna be in more trouble if you don't report it."

WKYT did speak with a corporate representative for the business that alerted authorities. They tell us they are cooperating fully with authorities.

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