January 23, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A scan of Utah newspaper headlines over just a recent two month period is rather startling: "Child Pornography Stockpiling Nets Ogden Man Multiple Prison Sentences"; "Former Air Force Staff Sergeant Jailed for Downloading Porn"; "Scout Leader in Roy Arrested for Allegedly Downloading Porn"; "Utah Funeral Home Director Sentenced for Producing Child Porn"; "Ex-Utah Soldier Gets 12 Years on Child Porn Case"; "Bail Reduced for Former McKay Dee Doctor Accused of Possessing Child Porn." Child pornography
is not just a problem in some other city in some other state--it is an issue here in Utah.
Under Utah law, anyone who knowingly distributes or views child pornography is guilty of the sexual exploitation of a minor which is a second-degree felony punishable by a prison term of one to 15 years and up to a $10,000 fine. The statute makes it a separate offense for each child who is depicted in the pornographic material and it is not necessary for the state to establish proof of actual identity of any minor in order to secure a conviction.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and Utah law enforcement are all actively on the lookout for those who might have downloaded or viewed child pornography over the Internet
. In State v. Bergeson, the Utah Court of Appeals recently considered the case of a defendant who claimed that the use of specialized software developed by and available only to law enforcement to identify an IP address constituted an illegal search. At the hearing to suppress the evidence, the detective involved testified that the software he used "only organized publically available information" and simply made it easier and quicker for him to sort through a myriad of IP addresses. The district court disagreed with the defendant and concluded that the use of the specialized software did not constitute a search. On appeal, the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, but declined to rule on the question of whether the use of the software was a search; the court found the three defendants had failed to properly preserve the issue for appeal by challenging the district court's decision. The decision leaves the question to be decided in another case on another day.
Possession of child pornography under Utah law is a serious crime, and charges under a similar federal law are also possible. Anybody who has been charged with any such offense should immediately seek the counsel of an experienced Utah criminal attorney.
Article provided by Greg S. Law, PLLC
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