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Government Must Present Evidence of File Sharing for Distribution of Child Pornography

Posted On: September 17, 2014 by Marc Neff

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has recently reviewed the case of United States of America v. David George Husmann. The case involved the distribution of child pornography. The defendant had allegedly placed various images of child pornography in a shared computer folder connected to a file sharing network. At trial, a jury convicted the defendant of three counts of distributing child pornography. The jury reached the verdict despite the government failure to present evidence that any person had actually downloaded or obtained the material that the defendant placed into the file sharing network.

The Appeals Court focused their review on whether the mere act of placing child pornography materials in a shared computer folder, available to other users of a file sharing network, constituted distribution of child pornography. The Court concluded that a conviction for distributing child pornography cannot be sustained without evidence that another person actually downloaded or obtained the images stored in the shared folder. The Court vacated the conviction for distribution and remanded the matter to the District Court.

Despite what media outlets report, allegations of child pornography are rarely “cut and dry,” and the only way to ensure one’s legal rights are protected is to hire an attorney whose experience in this realm of defense is unmatched. Philadelphia lawyer Marc Neff has spent the last 25 years protecting the rights of those facing these types of charges. He is a frequent lecturer on the topic, and uses cutting-edge technologies to create defense strategies for his clients. To schedule a confidential consultation with Marc Neff, please call (215) 563-9800 or email Marc@nefflawoffices.com.

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