When the first meme went viral, the end of the world came: the arrest of a developer for creating a child development center
Today is the first anniversary of the arrest in California of a prominent developer for the creation of a child-focused development center.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the developer, Jeffrey Beasley, is accused of “deceptively promoting and creating child development as a business and marketing product.”
“This case demonstrates that child development is real and that businesses can and do use memes to promote their businesses,” said Marc Siegel, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
“Our goal is to ensure that people know the truth about what really happens when businesses exploit children, but unfortunately we can’t do that in the legal system,” Siegel continued.
The affidavit alleges that Beasley “created the child development program at the center through an online advertisement and distributed a ‘tweetable’ about the center and its founder.”
The allegations, which include a photo of a grinning Beasley holding a sign with the word “child,” are being made public after the Los Angles Times, citing a source close to the investigation, broke the story.
Beasley is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Los Angeles on charges of child exploitation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Child Exploit Prevention Unit of the Southern District of California.
Beasley has denied the allegations.
The center is the subject of an investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office and the Los Feliz County District Attorney’s Office.
In a statement provided to the Times, Beasley said that the center was “in no way associated with the criminal conduct” and “the company was never compensated for the use of its image in the media.”
He continued, “The center is now in the process of being sold and my focus is solely on my children and my business.”
Follow us on Twitter at @CNNOpinion and on Facebook at facebook.com/CNNOlder.