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The Nation | IN BRIEF / MASSACHUSETTS

Artist's Pornography Conviction Overturned

January 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Massachusetts' highest court has overturned the child pornography conviction of an art student who photographed a 15-year-old girl with her breasts exposed.

The Supreme Judicial Court said that John C. Bean, 40, who was taking courses at the Worcester Art Museum, "had no lascivious intent" and the pictures were "neither obscene nor pornographic."

A judge had sentenced Bean to six months' probation on a charge of "posing a child in the nude." Bean also faced having to register as a sex offender.

Bean "was trying to work in an artistic manner and if his conviction had been upheld it would have been a devastating message to people trying to earn a living creatively," said Benjamin Keehn of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, who handled the appeal.

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