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giovedì 29 dicembre 2016

Child Porn Addiction

A disgraced Army colonel who already is serving time in military prison told a federal judge Wednesday that his shame for possessing and distributing thousands of images of child pornography is bottomless
Robert Rice made that admission just before U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner sentenced him to 12 years behind bars.
The depth of Rice's fall was apparent as he stood before Conner in a rumpled orange prison uniform. During 37 years in the service Rice, who developed war games at the Army War College in Carlisle, was more accustomed to wearing his medals and insignia as a "full bird colonel."
Rice, 59, could have received 20 years in prison on his child porn conviction by a federal jury. He currently is serving a 4-year jail sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after pleading guilty to similar counts during his military courts-martial.
During Wednesday's hour-long hearing before Conner, defense attorney Peter Goldberger lobbied for a 5-year prison term, the minimum allowed by law. Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy urged that Rice receive at least 153 months in prison.
Goldberger insisted that Rice recognizes and is battling the addiction that led him to download and share child porn. Authorities in Cumberland County arrested Rice in 2013 after his wife discovered those illegal images after installing a monitoring system on his computer.
His criminal addiction was an "isolated piece" of Rice's life that should be balanced against his service to the nation, Goldberger argued. "Here is someone who has 37-year career in the military," Goldberger said. "He was recognized by the Army as a leader and a teacher."
Rice choked and sniffled as he told Conner he's accepted full responsibility for his crimes, and for the hurt he inflicted by trading in "very disgusting photos and images that should have not existed in the first place."
"I need to apologize to the men and women of the Army," he said.
"When this began, I didn't see the human beings," Rice added. "I've come to realize that this is not a victimless crime...I can't express the depth of my shame for my part in it."
Clancy openly questioned Rice's sincerity. He contended that Rice only fessed up to his crimes only when he had no other choice, especially after he failed to sway the jury by wearing his medal-bedecked full dress uniform every day of his trial. The prosecutor noted that Rice initially claimed his wife had planted the child porn on his computer.
Deterrence is a major issue in cases such as Rice's because "the severity of this kind of crime cannot be overstated," Clancy said.
In choosing a punishment, Conner said he weighed the volume of child porn Rice swapped over several years against a military career he agreed was exemplary. "He was, by all accounts, an excellent soldier, until he wasn't," the judge said.
Yet people like Rice abet the "revictimization cycle" of the children who are forced to make child porn, Conner said.
The judge cited a concern that Rice might commit more such crimes as he imposed the prison term that is to run concurrently with his sentence at Leavenworth. With that in mind, Conner ordered that Rice be subjected to computer monitoring during the 10 years he will spend on probation after he's released from prison.
Rice, who also was fined $5,100, must register as a sex offender as well and must pay for counseling for his child porn addiction.

'I didn't see the human beings:' Disgraced Army colonel gets 12 years in prison for swapping child porn Matt Miller | December 28, 2016

Former Army Colonel Goes To Jail For 12 Years After Receiving, Spreading Child Porn JONAH BENNETT 12/28/2016

Former Allegheny College professor and award-winning author, Kirk Nesset, pictured, is being sued by eight child porn victims who say they are portrayed in the porn found on Nesset's computers after his October 2014 arrest. Nesset pleaded guilty last year to possessing 540,000 images and videos of children, including infants, being raped and abused. He was arrested as part of an undercover FBI probe.

A former Allegheny College professor and award-winning author, who pleaded guilty last year to possessing more than half-a-million pornographic images of children, now finds himself the subject of a lawsuit filed by eight of the girls whose abuse was depicted in the porn he possessed. 
Kirk Nesset, 59, is currently serving 76 months in a federal prison in California
But now, a group of three adults, acting on behalf of eight girls who say they are portrayed in the porn found on Nesset's computers, are suing him in an Erie federal court, claiming the circulation of their images is an invasion of privacy and continues to cause them emotional distress.
Seattle-based lawyer Carol Hepburn says she brought the legal action to compensate the victims, who continue to suffer because recordings of their abuse are online forever.
Their complaint details how the girls were sexually abused at a young age to produce child porn that continues to circulate among collectors such as Nesset. 
Each plaintiff is seeking statutory damages of $150,000 as well as compensatory and punitive damages. That would be in addition to the $78,900 a federal judge ordered Nesset to pay to four victims at the time of his sentencing last year.
Nesset was arrested in October of 2014 as part of an undercover FBI investigation into the sharing of child porn videos on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer computer network. Nesset's lawyer argued that he is addicted to child porn and mentally ill.
Since his arrest, more than 50 child victims in Nesset's collection have been identified, and the former creative writing and contemporary literature professor at Allegheny College in Meadville resigned his position. 
Nesset, who won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for 2007 from the University of Pittsburgh Press for his "Paradise Road" collection of short stories, had taught at Allegheny College for two decades, the Post-Gazette reports. 
The lawsuit against him follows others filed under similar circumstances in courts across the country this year. 

They include suit filed against a Georgia banker in June by three women who allege their pictures were among the more than 300 images of child pornography that federal investigators found in his possession.


Child pornography victims sue former Macon banker for restitution JUNE 10, 2016


And in Illinois in February, former state Rep. Keith Farnham was sued while in prison by two minors who claim they appear in child pornography found on his computer.


Former State Rep. Keith Farnham Sued By Two Child Porn Victims February 12, 2016 

Nesset's case, meanwhile, has been placed in the Erie court's alternative dispute resolution program, typically meant to help parties resolve disputes without a trial. 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Child porn victims sue former Pa. college professor Colin Deppen | December 28, 2016

A judge denied a bond request for a 55-year-old Poquoson man accused of possession of child pornography in the York County Circuit Court Thursday morning.
Robert Manning Rollins, a former assistant coach and volunteer for Poquoson High School sports teams, will remain in police custody at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail until his scheduled trial date in February.
Rollins is charged with five counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of possession with the intent to distribute child pornography after police say they found evidence of child pornography on Rollins’ laptop.
During the hearing, Judge Richard Rizk said although he did not believe Rollins was a flight risk, he did consider him a danger to the community.
“During bond hearings, we look at the strength of the commonwealth’s evidence,” Rizk said. “The court finds that this individual is a threat to the community, and there will be no bond for these circumstances.”
Rollins was denied bond once before in December 2016, according to court records.
Rollins was arrested Sept. 15 after a task force found several images of child pornography in late May that had been uploaded by an IP address connected to Rollin’s home in Poquoson, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Donna Maw said while outlining police evidence in court Thursday.
York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigators seized his cell phone and laptop, Maw said. Rollins cooperated with the search and told police he had about 50 images in a file named “pics to share,” Maw said.
Police were able to uncover a file named “pics to share,” which had several categorized files containing about 500 child pornography images and two child pornography videos. Some material depicted female children displaying their private parts, while other material showed adult men having sex with children, Maw said.
Police also found about 1,500 Yahoo chat logs between Rollins and other internet users discussing getting child pornography. In some chats, Rollins told the other users he was also a child, Maw added.
While investigators were going through evidence, Rollins told one officer that he had an addiction to child porn, Maw said.
Rollins confirmed in court that he had previously served as an assistant baseball coach, a statistician for the football team, and the clock and scoreboard keeper for volleyball and basketball for Poquoson High School.
While Rollins’ attorney, Richard Collins, suggested the court could place many restrictions on Rollins if he was released on bond, Maw told the judge that “with all due respect your honor, there is nothing you or any court can do to keep the community safe from this individual.”
During the hearing, the judge also heard a motion from Collins requesting a computer science and computer forensics expert be appointed to testify on whether there was malware on Rollins’ computer.
Collins told the court Rollins said malware, malicious software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems, played a role in what was found on his computer.
Having an expert analyze Rollins’ computer and see if there was any malware on the device would be an important factor in the case, Collins said.
While Maw said she did not object to appointing an expert, she raised concerns about the high cost – the expert quoted his rate to be about $250 per hour – and the logistics of getting the material or device to the expert. The expert told Collins he would need to analyze the device from his office in Fairfax, but Maw said sending copies of the evidence is not common practice.
A local investigator, Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Little, told the court that computer experts typically come to his office to analyze the evidence. Little is also a part of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Rizk approved the motion to appoint and expert, but reserved the ruling on the expert from Fairfax County that Collins requested.
“My hesitation or pause is whether it’s this expert, or someone more local who has more reasonable fees,” Rizk said.
The court will meet again on Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. to decide which expert will be appointed to the case.
Rollins’ trial is set for Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. in the York County Circuit Court.

Bond denied for former assistant coach accused of possessing child pornography Sarah Fearing    

The Canton man investigators called “one of the most active child porn consumers in the state” has been indicted on 10 counts related to his charges.
Dwight Watson, 43, who was indicted earlier this month by a Cherokee County grand jury on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children, is set to be arraigned Jan. 10, court records show,.
According to his indictment, Watson “knowingly possessed” graphic photographs and graphic videos depicting young boys and girls engaged in lewd sexual acts and intended to distribute them.
Investigators believe some of the videos in Watson’s possession featured children as young as 5 or 6 years old, according to arrest warrants taken out against the man.
Watson was arrested following a Sept. 28 search of his Canton home and subsequently charged with 50 counts of child pornography after a two-month investigation into him by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
Detectives seized two laptops, thumb drives, cell phones and several external hard drives containing “tens of thousands of files of interest” from the Canton man’s home on Carrington Way, investigators said.
Watson was initially released Sept. 30 on a $50,000 bond but a Magistrate Court judge ordered his bond be increased to $400,000 after the district attorney’s office filed a motion raise the amount.
In a hearing held Oct. 5, the state placed Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Detective Claude Dobbs on the stand. Dobbs, the lead investigator in the case against Watson, testified that the father of two accused of possessing child pornography “was freelancing for New Hope Ministries as a sex addiction counselor.”
He also said it appeared Watson had tampered with evidence in the case, resetting his laptop after he was told detectives were executing a search warrant at his home.
Dobbs said investigators believe Watson may have used the three-hour window between the time they arrived at his home and the time he was taken into custody to wipe his laptop of any evidence of child pornography.
“It looked like the user profile was deleted or that it was factory-restored,” Dobbs told the Magistrate Court judge, adding that Watson admitted having child pornography on that particular laptop during an interview conducted inside the jail following his arrest.
“Mr. Watson is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation,” District Attorney Shannon Wallace said Tuesday. “His arraignment is scheduled for Jan.10.”
Watson’s case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge David Cannon and Zack Smith is set to prosecute him on the state’s behalf, Wallace said.
Watson was being held at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center. 

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