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Category Archives: 24 Child Pornography Dismissals

State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14796) – Felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor/Child Pornography (DCAC), Felony Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation (DCAC) and Felony Transmitting Obscene Materials to a Minor – Dismissed – Surprise Police Department Investigated (SW14-0802800) and Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. PF2015-138656).

Mr. S was a 29-year old financial advisor who was licensed by FINRA. He was alleged to have started an online conversation of a sexual nature with his wife’s friend’s daughter who was 14. The allegations were that he solicited naked photographs from her and she sent five pictures to him. In addition, allegations were made that there were three naked videos of them that were sent back and forth. Ultimately, the girl entered a psychiatric hospital because she was suicidal. She was also a “cutter” and she claimed she had been raped by her cousin. The Surprise Police Department then executed a Search Warrant, seized all of Mr. S’s computers and arrested him.

We became involved in the case immediately after Mr. S was released from custody. While the forensic analysis of the computers and iPhones were pending, we handled the case for 11 months and gathered evidence to show that the girl had a history of lying and making things up. Ultimately, Detectives phoned and said they would be arresting Mr. S, and we arranged a self-surrender at the Surprise Police Department. Once he was taken into custody, we then handled the Initial Appearance. We successfully argued to the Judge that there was no Probable Cause for the Aggravated Luring charge, or the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor charge, due to the fact that the photographs and videos never showed any faces, and it was impossible to determine whether the ages were below 18-years of age. However, Probable Cause was found for 1 Count of Furnishing Obscene Materials to a Minor.

Next, we contacted the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and spoke with the Deputy County Attorney handling the case. We informed her that the problems on the other two cases also applied to the remaining charge. Ultimately, she agreed with us and she “turned down” the case for prosecution. All charges were ultimately Dismissed, and the Surprise Detectives were not happy about this. After these charges were Dismissed, somebody purporting to be the alleged victim contacted Mr. S on social media in order to gain “closure.” We suspected that this was Undercover Detectives attempting to secure some type of admission from Mr. S. No admissions were ever made, and no charges were ever brought against Mr. S.

Originally, he was facing potentially over three decades in prison if he were to be convicted on all three charges run consecutively. He has no criminal record and has preserved his FINRA license.

DISMISSED | 10 COUNTS of SEXUAL EXPLOITATION of a MINOR/CHILD PORNOGRAPHY DISMISSED– State v. Mr. C. (DMC No. 8906) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2007-006836): Mr. C. was a 67 year old grandfather who was home when the police raided his house.  They claimed that they had obtained information that Child Pornography was downloaded to a computer within the house.  Mr. C. invoked his right to remain silent, and his wife and grandkids (who lived with him) were interviewed.  Mr. C.’s wife stated that Mr. C. was suffering forms of dementia and that he “did not listen to her”, and she believed he downloaded the images.  He was ultimately charged with 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (Child Pornography) which carried a minimum sentence of 100 years of “day for day” prison time.  Due to various flaws in the case, combined with securing Mr. C.’s medical records, we eventually filed for a “Rule 11” Competency Hearing.  Charges were dismissed based upon Mr. C.’s lack of competency. We also secured assurances from the County Attorney’s Office that if Mr. C. was restored to competency, they would not refile charges.

CONVICTION SET ASIDE | ATTEMPTED SEXUAL EXPLOITATION of a MINOR and CHILD PORNOGRAPHY – State v. Mr. H. (DMC No. 7890) (Maricopa County Juvenile Court JV544956-F858852): Approximately 1 month before Mr. H.’s 17th birthday he downloaded images of child pornography on his computer.  He was subsequently put into counseling and placed on probation.  On his 18th birthday, he was released from probation.  However, due to the nature of the charges his conviction was still appearing on his permanent record, and it was affecting his ability to go to school and maintain employment.  We had a Psychosexual Risk Evaluation performed on Mr. H., which showed him to be of no danger to society.  Once the appropriate paperwork was filed with the Maricopa County Juvenile Court, the judgment of guilt regarding Mr. H. was set aside.  He had no criminal convictions on his record.

 

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