When an individual in South Carolina is charged with possession of child pornography, the accusations can have a devastating impact on his or her family and also on career aspirations. A potential conviction can cause even more severe ramifications. The most practical first step to take — even before answering any questions from investigators — is to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney with experience in this field of the law. Child pornography charges are serious, and an aggressive defense strategy may be required.
After receiving information from the Internet Crimes Against Children initiative run by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, investigators associated with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into the Internet activities of a 22-year-old man. The lead alleged that uploading of child pornography had taken place at the IP address that belonged to the accused man. Investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s residence and found that his computer was one of several at the address that also accommodates other individuals.
Images of young children in sexually explicit circumstances were located on the hard drive of the accused man’s computer, and based on this, he was arrested. He was charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Authorities said more charges may follow after further analysis of the computers seized during the search of the residence.
South Carolina residents may not even be aware that any images viewed on the Internet are automatically cached on the computer’s hard drive. So, even if a person follows an innocent-looking link that opens a site on which child pornography images are displayed, those images will be recorded on the operator’s computer without ever being downloaded. An experienced criminal defense attorney could examine this and other possible manners in which the images that gave rise to the child pornography charges could have been added to the accused man’s computer memory. The burden of proof that he knowingly gathered pornographic images of minors will be on the prosecution, and, until this is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, no conviction can take place.
Source: blufftontoday.com, “Beaufort man charged with sexual exploitation of a minor“, Oct. 9, 2015