Further Reading Cop who wanted to photograph teen’s erection in sexting case commits suicide A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of a Virginia man who, as a teen, was once ordered by a lower court to be photographed while masturbating in the presence of armed police officers.
Eventually, the detective assigned to the case, David Abbott, obtained a signed warrant to take photographs of Sims' naked body—including "the suspect’s erect penis"—so that he could compare them to Sims' explicit messages.
Further Reading Police drop plans to photograph teen’s erection in sexting case Lawyers representing the Abbott estate argued that their client was shielded by "qualified immunity," the notion in American law that generally protects law enforcement officers in gray-area situations from legal liability.
In a 2-1 majority opinion, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the initial warrant against Sims was an "obvious, unconstitutional violation."
The 4th Circuit ruled that Sims' lawsuit against the estate of the now-deceased officer who had led the sexting investigation, David Abbott, could move forward.