Jaqueline Mercado and Johnny Fernandez

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Date: 2002

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Photography


Artist: Jaqueline Mercado and Johnny Fernandez

Confronting Bodies: Richardson, Texas law enforcement

Dates of Action: November 2002-April 2003

Location: Richardson, Texas

Description of Artwork: Family photographs taken by Johnny Fernandez of his girlfriend, Jacqueline Mercado, and sons playing together. The children are depicted several times nude or half-clothed. The contested picture features Jacqueline Mercado breast-feeding the couple's one year old son.

The Incident: When Johnny Fernandez reunited with his girlfriend, Jaqueline, after a year separation, while Johnny immigrated from their homeland, Lima, Peru, Jacqueline brought several rolls of film to a store for development. When the film technician viewed the photos he called Richardson police who considered the pictures pornographic. Fernandez and Mercado's children were taken into foster care and the couple was threatened with a second degree felony for, "sexual performance of a child."

Results of Incident: Mercado and Fernandez were released from prison and the charges against them were eventually dropped after action from their attorney, Andrew Chatham. The Texas court ruled, however, that they would not release their children until the couple agreed to take a lie detector test.

Source: www.dallasobserver.com