Dad who arranged nude photos of his daughters pleads not guilty to child porn charges

Dad who arranged nude photos of his daughters pleads not guilty to child porn charges

Nudist resortOne man’s “family portrait” is another’s disgusting sicko porn. A South Florida man is claiming the nude photos he commissioned of his three young daughters are the former and that his sharing them around was simply the act of a proud papa.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Brian Martens, 53, pleaded not guilty to charges of child pornography earlier this week.

His defense is that he and his family are “naturalists” — they live in a nudist colony — and that the pictures are your more-or-less run-of-the mill family photos.

Marten’s attorney, James Eisenberg, argued at his arraignment:

The girls have no clothes on … but they’re not doing anything of a sexual nature. If they were young ladies who had clothing on, no one would consider them pornographic.

Totally nude … is the normal state of all the people who live there. In the context that everybody in this family are naturists … these photos are not lewd or pornographic in any way.

But federal prosecutors counter that some of the photos, one of which is a close-up shot of a child’s genitals, are grossly inappropriate and cross the line. U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Matthewman agrees. After examining the evidence, he stated, “Several of these photos the court has reviewed are lascivious.… They are, in the court’s opinion, sexually explicit.”

Martens, who was arrested on Oct. 29, was on the radar of agents with the Department of Homeland Security’s Investigations unit. They began scrutinizing him earlier this year after they found inappropriate photographs of his daughters on a computer that belonged to Leslie Grey Vanaman, 44, a neighbor of Martens in the private, gated Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort. The girls were between ages 8 and 12 when the photographs were taken, prosecutors said.

Vanaman, who billed himself as a professional photographer, was arrested on child porn production and receipt charges earlier this year. He is currently serving 60 years in federal prison.

Martens is himself looking at between 15 and 30 years in federal prison if he is convicted of child porn production and 5 to 20 if convicted of receiving child pornography.

When agents initially questioned Martens about the photographs in April, he told them he did not know that any inappropriate photographs had been taken. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandy Brentari Galler, he wept as he viewed the images.

But further analysis of Vanaman’s computer told a very different story, Galler said. Martens had signed releases and received on several occasions more than 50 photographs that contained child pornography of the three girls taken between 2010 and 2012.

Agents also discovered emails between Martens, Vanaman, and a third man in which they discussed Vanaman’s “craft” and “the sensuality and sexuality” of the images.

Martens wrote about “using his daughters as a passport” and said they “opened doors” for him in the naturist community, Galler also told the judge.

It’s a safe bet that Martens won’t be looking at any open doors for some time to come.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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