Question about US law from Carrie (2013)

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I just watched the 2013 remake of Carrie and without giving too much of a review, I just wanna say beforehand that I loved it, every single piece of it.

However, and here's where we enter spoiler territory so look away if you haven't seen it, there is one rather big piece of a puzzle that I haven't managed to fit in:

WARNING: "Major plot points" spoilers below
In the beginning of the movie, Carrie gets filmed in the shower while the girls bully her. The film is even put on Youtube and the girl who filmed it got caught. Later, the same girl is about to ruin Carrie's big prom moment and her boyfriend warns her that they are about to commit a federal offense.

My question is: Isn't assault a "regular" offense and filming an underage, naked girl in a shower and then publish the film a federal offense? And what makes pouring blood on someone a harsher crime than instigating a mob to abuse the same person and filming it?

I mean neither of them is good, but since the perp got caught the first time and had a record, it only seems logical to me that she would be put in jail awaiting trial for abuse and filming of underaged girls in the shower, or at least under police surveillance, not roaming free to kill pigs and pour the blood over other girls.


For those of you who haven't seen the movie, I'm sorry, but this question reveals big plot points.



Chappie doesn't like the real world
WARNING: "Spoilers" spoilers below
She has a towel around her the entire time she is being filmed, she wasn't actually filmed naked. Carrie might have had some course of action should she had anyone to intervene on her behalf, but it wasn't a crime in the way trespassing, destruction of property and possible cruelty to animals (depending on where you live) is. In the former, the best Carrie would have is a civil lawsuit.



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Winter Calls Thy Name
WARNING: "-" spoilers below
If a crime was even committed in the first instance not everyone is held in jail to await trial. In the second instance, why a federal law would apply I don't know and think the State would be the authority that prosecutes anyway.



WARNING: "Spoilers" spoilers below
She has a towel around her the entire time she is being filmed, she wasn't actually filmed naked. Carrie might have had some course of action should she had anyone to intervene on her behalf, but it wasn't a crime in the way trespassing, destruction of property and possible cruelty to animals (depending on where you live) is. In the former, the best Carrie would have is a civil lawsuit.
WARNING: "Spoiler" spoilers below
I know that is how it was portrayed, for legal reasons (since the actress was 15 years old at the time), but I doubt the law would see the towel as proper defense in this case. A lot of people have been prosecuted as sex criminals for far less.
Carrie wouldn't need to take legal action as it happened on the school grounds and a teacher (and later the head master) intervened. The school has the authority to file claims for everything that happens on school property, if my understanding of the federal law is correct.



Chappie doesn't like the real world
WARNING: "Spoiler" spoilers below
I know that is how it was portrayed, for legal reasons (since the actress was 15 years old at the time), but I doubt the law would see the towel as proper defense in this case. A lot of people have been prosecuted as sex criminals for far less.
Carrie wouldn't need to take legal action as it happened on the school grounds and a teacher (and later the head master) intervened. The school has the authority to file claims for everything that happens on school property, if my understanding of the federal law is correct.
You're going to have to show me that case.

WARNING: "Spoilers" spoilers below
Not even in real life (much less a movie where you need to be suspending disbelief in the first place) are they going to prosecute a bunch of girls for throwing tampons at a girl and filming it. A towel is more coverage than a swimsuit. Even if they did go after the girls it would be for bullying, (again which would be a civil suit) not anything sexual.



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Winter Calls Thy Name
How would federal law be relevant to either action in the film?



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Winter Calls Thy Name
Maybe the character was using "federal offense" loosely to mean something that would be taken very seriously and bring strong punishment from the school, not that it was a federal crime.



Maybe the character was using "federal offense" loosely to mean something that would be taken very seriously and bring strong punishment from the school, not that it was a federal crime.
No, the actual words were "If we get caught, we're going to jail, this is a federal crime"



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Winter Calls Thy Name
No, the actual words were "If we get caught, we're going to jail, this is a federal crime"
Then I'm not sure what federal statute would apply, although even if one did I'd think it'd be the state that would bring a case under state law.



A system of cells interlinked
Applying criminal law theory to a film about a girl that floats objects around with her mind? Pretty sure realism wasn't on most people's minds when they made this flick!
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"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



Applying criminal law theory to a film about a girl that floats objects around with her mind? Pretty sure realism wasn't on most people's minds when they made this flick!
Then you've obviously not seen it. The reason so many likes it is because it brings realism to a film made twice before without realism. It manages to capture the emotion of a bullied kid and its bullies quite well and even the insanity is realistic to a point.
The only unrealistic parts are said law confusion and the flinging of objects with the mind, which is why I made this post in the first place.



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Winter Calls Thy Name
He doesn't tell her it's a federal crime. He says, "This isn't what you bitches did in the shower. This is criminal assault. This is f---ing jail time if we're caught." To which she responds, "I get it."



Chappie doesn't like the real world
He does say it. That doesn't mean he knows what he is talking about. The character isn't supposed to be that bright.

Look it's this simple: what happened at the school is something that would be handled by the school by suspension or expulsion. No one would go to jail for that and it's certainly not a sex-crime.

Trespassing and destruction of property are against the law. You could go to jail and at very least you would have to appear in court and answer to the charges. I have no idea why the Op is so caught up on this, but it seems to be impeding thier enjoyment of the movie.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Most all movies are unrealistic including documentaries and this one. But as Godoggo said, a character saying something untrue or at least unreliable isn't unrealistic. If you want some legal clarification for something you think is true, you probably better go to a free legal advice page, but I wouldn't expect a Solomonic answer from them either. Good luck!



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Winter Calls Thy Name
Just before the prank at the prom--which is what the OP is referring to-he doesn't say that it's a federal crime; he says what I quoted which is verbatim from the film. Whether it amounts to assault or battery I'm not sure but it seems extremely unlikely that the authorities would make any arrests. If the prank went wrong and someone got hurt to any substantial degree that would be another story.

As to the act that precedes the one at the prom that too seems nothing more than a prank that the school would handle. However, I suppose that at a certain point a future prank cold rise to statutory assault, battery, bullying etc. if there were repeated offenses and that the authorities may want to take action.



Pretty much. Not any where close to the worst movie of 2013 though.
*cough* Mortal Instruments *cough*

Seriously, I watched Mortal Instruments in theaters and it was like a bad version of Twilight.... and Twilight was a bad version of Twilight.



fwiw i just ran this by rebecca, my wife (a criminal defense lawyer). according to her, if they ruined her prom on federal land (for example at a national park), it would be a federal offense but at an ordinary high school, the o.p. is correct, it would not be. don't quote her if a federal prosecutor tries to get you for bullying at your prom, though. ;p