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Is Florida Sheriff Grady Judd’s Arrest of Pedophilia Author Philip Greaves an “Overreach”?

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If Philip Greaves, the self-published author of The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct, isn’t crazy, he’s a perverted criminal in the eyes of one Florida judge. As such, he was arrested without incident in Pueblo on Monday in connection with obscenity charges in Florida, captain Andrew McLachlan of the local police department tells the Reuters news service. After Amazon.com banned his book last month, CNN interviewed the 47-year-old Greaves, who argued that “good” pedophiles exist—those who are merely into “kissing and fondling” as opposed to penetration.

No allegations have been made against Greaves for harming any children. But “the book contains two graphic stories depicting an adult engaged in sex acts with children,” according to a statement from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, and it also advocates illegal sex acts. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd tells The Associated Press that Greaves “very proudly sold us his personal copy,” and the sheriff “was outraged by the content. It was clearly a manifesto on how to sexually batter children…. You just can’t believe how absolutely disgusting it was.”

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While the matter of free speech has been raised, other concerns are cropping up. If a case goes to trial in Florida over the mailing of the book from Colorado, for instance, what would prevent officials from prosecuting booksellers who ship Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, a novel about a pedophile? “As bad as this book may be, the charge opens a very big Pandora’s box,” says Dennis J. Kenney, a former police officer in Polk County and a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York (via 7News). “The charge sounds to me like a significant overreach.” Westword concurs that it’s a “slippery slope,” adding that “Judd appears to be Florida’s answer to Joe Arpaio,” the renegade anti-immigration sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County.

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