Here and here are links to two articles about the odd resolution of an odd case involving alleged child porn and alleged pictures from home.  The case started when Army investigators allegedly found what they believed was child pornography on an Illinois National Guardsman’s computer in Afghanistan.  As the Army Times noted in January, here, the soldier’s parents quickly came to his defense and alleged that the pictures were “innocent photos of the soldier’s 4-year-old niece that his mother sent . . .”  While investigators and one SJA claimed the pictures were unrelated to the family photos, the OTH in lieu seems odd if there was actual child pornography involved.  The case also involved allegations that the soldier was done in by another soldier with whom he had a disagreement. 

Anyone in the know able to share anything about the result?  AUSAs frequently told me about the MilJus system’s “problem” with child pornography and their desire to see stiffer courts-martial sentences for the offenses, but this seems an odd way to go about that.

9 Responses to “OTH In Lieu In Pictures From Home Child Porn Case”

  1. Atticus says:

    The feds have mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines; MILJUS does not. Members have no idea what a child porn case is worth. They think it’s just about “dirty pictures,” and they don’t know about the psychiatric data that shows what creation/possession/distribution of CP indicates about the offender.

  2. Anon says:

    Is 5 pictures really worth 5 years? How does “science” actually predict what a young a soldier will or will not do in the future? Most of our cases involve young servicemembers who download the pics from the web when they are surfing or through p2p programs, then delete them. Most are curious. Perhaps it is the MILJUS folks that have it right and the AUSAs who have it wrong. Cases where there is a significant amount of CP or distribution do get significant confinement in CMs.

  3. the roflcopter says:

    Too bad Dr. Government wasn’t on the scene. This robot is basically like the Ellis robot and obviously has a 36.349849% risk of recidivism!!!

  4. MMP says:

    Should service members be allowed to smoke a little bit of pot?

  5. Anonymous says:

    When you go to the store to get sugar, you don’t often come back with pot stuck in your bag.

    When you surf for regular porn, you can in fact come out of it with kiddie porn “stuck in your bag.” I think it’s a much fairer conceit to say if you possess drugs, it was probably knowing versus saying if you possess child porn, it was probably knowing minus any other evidence of an interest in child porn.

  6. Abacus says:

    I can shed some light on this one.

    The “niece” photo was not what the case was about. The Soldier’s roommate (who was allowed access to his computer pursuant to an informal agreement between the two) came across images of CP, informed the chain of command, and swore out an affidavit detailing what he’d seen. CID seized the computer. SM was brought in, waived his rights, and confessed. Subsequent forensic analysis revealed several dozen images and videos of CP. The OTH (which I agree is rare in these cases) was likely approved for 2 reasons: (1) the SM had already been extended in Afghanistan for several months beyond his NG unit’s redeployment while OSJA waited for the forensic results to come in, a fact which would likely affect the sentence; and (2) the forensic analysis could not conclusively establish that the images / videos were ever viewed by the SM. So there were potential proof issues. While the standard for corroboration is indeed “slight,” the Gov’t opted not to run the risk of an acquittal, and took the bird in hand.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So he confessed to images that a simple forensic analysis couldn’t even state were ever viewed?

    Sounds like a questionable confession to me.

  8. Atticus says:

    This train left the station long ago. MILJUS is the only jurisdiction not on it. And have you ever ben “curious” to see these images? Have you ever had to actually review them as a TC or DC?

  9. Anon says:

    How about this – how about NCIS stop sending its agents to hostage negotation courses, “contingency operation planning,” and “how to wear my 5-11 pants and look really cool school” and actually go after the MAKERS AND DISTRIBUTORS of CP or those that have a organized collection of CP?