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Internet Crime

June 1, 2009

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Rules Accessing and Viewing Child Pornography over the Internet Constitutes Control under Sexual Abuse of Children Statute

Pennsylvania’s statute on Sexual Abuse of Children contains a provision which states: “it is illegal for an individual to knowingly possess or control any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of eighteen years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act.” In 2003, Anthony Diodoro was charged and subsequently convicted with violations of the Sexual Abuse of Children statute and Criminal Use of...

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May 5, 2009

Third Circuit Holds Government Contracted Psychologist May Be Subpoenaed To Testify Favorably For Defendant at Sentencing

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided the case of United States v. Olhovsky, ruling that the sentence imposed by the District Court upon the Defendant was unreasonable. Nicolau Olhovsky was sentenced to six years imprisonment after pleading guilty to charges of possessing child pornography. In 2004, an undercover law enforcement officer was investigating an Internet Relay Chat channel (“IRC”) in which users would trade pornographic images of children. Olhovsky was identified as one of the IRC’s users. In...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Internet Crime

February 19, 2009

Underage “Sexting” Now Punishable as a Sex Crime in a Growing Number of Jurisdictions

As cellular telephone technology advances at an extremely rapid pace, more and more teenagers are possessing phones with the capabilities to snap still photos or record short videos. Coupled with the fact that as a society, children are becoming acquainted with sex at younger ages, this technology has led to the practice of sexting; sending nude photos or other sexually explicit photos and/or videos to a recipient via cell phone. The practice of sexting has led to...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Internet Crime

February 5, 2009

Supreme Court of the United States Elects Not to Hear Arguments on the Constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act

The Child Online Protection Act (“COPA”) was passed in 1998 in an attempt to regulate inappropriate web-based content which was too easily accessible by children. COPA was never allowed to take effect, however, as an injunction on the Act was immediately issued after its passage. The constitutionality of the Act was challenged in ACLU v. MuKasey, in which a United States District Court held COPA to be unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. The ruling was appealed but upheld last summer by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. As expected, the Circuit...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

August 1, 2008

New Jersey Lawmaker Resigns amid Child Pornography Investigation

New Jersey Assemblyman Neil Cohen resigned from his position on Monday, following allegations of suspected child pornography found on his computer. Colleagues of Cohen’s, who use the same legislative district office, alerted law enforcement officials last week of the alleged images found on Cohen’s computer. According to State Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, the investigation of Cohen began when a staffer in the Union office found a printed-out photo of a nude female, suspected to be in her early teens or...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Internet Crime