9th circuit court of appeals
January 3, 2018

Pornography Consumption Fuels Sexual Harassment

Below is my recent letter to the editor in the Los Angeles Times regarding Judge Alex Kozinski’s pornography usage, alleged sexual harassment and subsequent resignation. 

To the editor: In discussing Judge Alex Kozinski’s recent departure from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after allegations by several women of sexual misconduct, The Times Editorial Board states that private pornography consumption and alleged sexual harassment cannot be compared, because the former action is legal. (“Alex Kozinski’s retirement doesn’t end the discussion about sexual harassment in the judiciary,” editorial Dec. 19)

Pornography consumption is indeed legal, but that does not make it incomparable to sexual harassment. They are intimately connected. Pornography consumption fuels sexual harassment.

In fact, a meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and that pornography use puts people at increased risk for accepting rape myths, which fuel sexual harassment, and even for committing sexual offenses.

The editorial board rightly suggests the federal judiciary should rededicate itself to preventing “sexual harassment or other forms of abuse and exploitation.” In so doing, the judiciary should consider the real connections between all forms of sexual exploitation.

Private pornography viewing may be legal for a judge just as it is for other Americans. But as Kozinski’s case illustrates, judges are no more immune from pornography’s harmful effects than others.

Patrick A. Trueman, Esq.

CEO & President

Patrick Trueman serves as president and chief executive officer at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  He spearheads efforts to address the intersectionality between all forms of sexual exploitation, including the public health crisis of pornography, the demand for commercial sexual exploitation, the abuse of children, and more. Under his leadership, NCOSE has produced policy improvements at a wide range of notable institutions, including Google, Wal-Mart, the Department of Justice, Verizon, the Federal Communications Commission, and more.

In 2015, Mr. Trueman, a lawyer for more than 40 years, established the organization’s Law Center, to influence the law and our courts to ensure the values of human dignity are represented.

Patrick Trueman is a former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division at the U. S. Department of Justice from 1988 to 1993. While there, he supervised the prosecution of child sex crimes, child pornography, and obscenity, managing an office of prosecutors and working with the nation’s ninety-three United States Attorneys to initiate and coordinate federal prosecutions.

During his years as a lawyer, he litigated cases at all levels of the federal system, including in the United States Supreme Court. He has been an advisor to many municipalities on First Amendment law and has helped draft ordinances to end or curb the impact of sexually oriented businesses such as pornography shops, strip clubs, and related establishments. A recognized international expert, Mr. Trueman has traveled throughout the world to speak about human trafficking and the harms of sexual exploitation.

Mr. Trueman lives just outside Washington, D.C., and is married to Laura Clay Trueman. Laura and Pat Trueman have three children.

 

 

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