Electronics employee notifies police of child pornography on computer
A man was recently sentenced for possessing child pornography after an electronics employee found pornographic images on the man’s old hard drive.
According to Oregon Live, a man was recently sentenced on child pornography charges after he purchased a new computer at an electronics store and asked one of the technicians to transfer the data on his old hard drive to the hard drive on his new machine. During this process, the technician discovered that the man had approximately 700 images of child pornography on his old computer hard drive and notified the police. Before the transfer occurred, the man had removed the images from off of his computer. However, the technician working on the man’s computer was able to see small thumbnail images of the deleted pictures during the transfer.
The man spent 73 days in jail and also pleaded guilty to three counts of encouraging child sexual abuse. Later, the man, who had no prior criminal history, was sentenced to three years of probation, 30 days in jail and the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Oregon state law
When the technician at the electronics store notified law enforcement of the explicit pictures, the employee complied with an Oregon state law that requires computer technicians and photo processors to report any pornographic images of children they discover during the course of their employment duties, states Oregon Live.
Under this law, these two types of employees are required to provide law enforcement officials or the Oregon Department of Human Services with the name or the address, if known, of the person who has pornographic material involving minors on an electronic device. If an electronics employee fails to do this, he or she may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, an offense punishable by the requirement to spend up to a year in jail.
Images of child pornography are not protected
Those who are charged with a crime for possessing pornographic images of children on an electronic device may believe that it is their right to have these images on their personal property. However, according to the Department of Justice, the First Amendment does not protect child pornography and this content is considered illegal contraband. Child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct and may include photos, videos or computer-generated images.
Those in Oregon who are charged with possessing child pornography face serious penalties, which may include fines and the requirement to spend time in jail, for this offense. If law enforcement officials charged you for having pornographic images of minors in your possession, consult with an attorney to determine what legal steps you should take next.