Monday, March 14, 2011
Government Can't Prove That Defendant Knowingly Possessed Chile Pornorgraphy on Used Computer
A quick note about a child pornography case in Texas.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a conviction for possession of child pornography. The child pornography was found on the defendant’s computer. The computer was searched after the police obtained a warrant to search for evidence of a sexual relationship the defendant had with a minor.
The defendant had purchased the computer second-hand at a flea market. The state’s expert admitted that the computer contained viruses capable of covertly placing images on the computer, and that “it was impossible to determine when the images were placed on to, accessed, or deleted from, the computer.”
Under these facts, the prosecution could not prove that the knowingly or intentionally possessed the images.
The defendant was still sent to prison on the other charges.
Here is the question: will more child pornography criminals start to use “unsafe” computeing practices (i.e. no virus protection or firewalls, used computers, etc . . .) to insulate themselves from prosecution? If yes, can the government do a better job of identifying the dates when files are created on a hard drive?