The UC Irvine Police Department is trying to determine the role that dispatcher Scott Cornelius played in posting photographs of high-school water polo players on gay porn Web sites, following a report by The Orange County Register on Jan. 20 that first brought the photos to public attention.
According to the Register, the photographs of the players were not pornographic themselves, but would appear next to full-nudity action shots on Web sites like BoyCollector.net. The pictures also received sexually explicit comments from Web site members.
Scott Cornelius allegedly posted the photographs under the alias Scott Stanford. Last summer, Cornelius was granted photo credentials to the 2007 Junior World Water Polo Championships at Los Alamitos.
Despite public concern over the use of such photos on sexual Web sites, Cornelius may not have actually broken any law. Constitutional law experts would argue that the First Amendment protects the photographs, and the Orange County District Attorney’s office is currently looking into whether any laws were broken. In the Register, Jose Solorio, chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee said, ‘The courts have generally favored free speech. But [the fact] that these photos are on Web sites, pornographic Web sites, raises questions about its legality.’
After learning of Cornelius’s possible involvement, UCIPD kept Cornelius on active duty for the better part of a week before announcing that he would be placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 24. The same day, the Register reported that ‘an online photography company given photo credit for non-action images of water-polo players on gay porn Web sites is registered to Cornelius.’
Since then, UCIPD has not released any new information on the case. On Jan. 31, Assistant Chief Jeffrey Hutchison told New University, ‘There really isn’t any more information that I have that would be of interest