The police nationwide appear to be focusing on arresting those who download and trade child pornography on the Internet. Arrests occur daily throughout the country and in New York. The suspects arrested are not those who direct, produce and film child porn. They are persons who download and view the materials. Thus, it is rarely reported that anyone has been arrested for the sex offenses of producing or filming child porn, instead the vast majority of arrests are of those who download the materials on the Internet.
This story starts with an arrest in the northwestern United States but leads to the door of a New York State Police investigator. When the FBI arrested a man in the northwest for possessing child porn, he cooperated in assisting apprehension of those who downloaded materials at his website. One of those was allegedly a 37-year-old New York police officer. Agents served a search warrant on his email accounts and claim to have found incriminating evidence.
The 14-year veteran investigator targeted as a result of the arrest in Alaska was being held without bond and was suspended without pay. He stated that he was making an investigation when he downloaded the videos, but the criminal complaint against him alleges that he was not authorized to investigate child porn. It claims that he never reported receiving such materials.
The suspect pleaded not guilty, and his criminal defense attorney said that he was still investigating. The suspect had served as a lacrosse coach in high schools and colleges in the past. There appear to be no suspicious incidents on his record that would shed light on these charges.
The complaint filed in New York says that police discovered information in June 2013, several months after the Alaska arrest. It’s not clear if the site was still running after March 2013, but if it was, then there is a possible entrapment defense. Other than that, a chain of custody must be established to support the accuracy of the evidence and to show that it was not tampered with. In any event, the sex offenses charges will be thoroughly investigated by criminal defense counsel prior to any decision whether to file critical suppression motions, prepare a defense or negotiate a plea.
Source: NBC New York, “Alaska Child Porn Probe Leads FBI to NY State Police Investigator”, Frank Eltman, April 4, 2014