Jury acquits man charged with possession of illegal videos

Another tough case another win for Scarpello & LaTour

     A jury acquitted a Philadelphia man accused of possessing illegal child pornographic materials following a week-long trial in the Court of Common Pleas. Pennsylvania and Federal law make it illegal to intentionally possess these materials.  See 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6312(d). 

     In this case, Philadelphia Police used the file sharing program ARES to download illegal images from an I.P. address registered to the address where the defendant lived.  Police searched the suspect home about 8 months later and found two old computers, unplugged and without monitors, in the defendant’s bedroom.  A forensic investigator from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office searched the computers. The investigator was able to recover numerous illegal materials from one of the computer’s hard drives.  One of the computers had a version of the ARES program installed on it.

     The defendant admitted to police that he had used the old computers in the past but denied ever searching for the illegal materials found on the computers.  Based on this evidence, the District Attorney filed charges against the defendant. A conviction would mean jail time, as well as registration on Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law website.  See https://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/InformationalPages/Registration

     The defense presented expert testimony from Steven M. Pacillio. Mr. Pacillio was qualified as an expert in the field of computer forensics.  Mr. Pacillio was able to show the jury forensic evidence which proved that numerous users had accessed the computers in question.  Mr. Pacillio found evidence in the government’s own file that its investigator had missed.

     Attorney Josh Scarpello argued that the police investigation was flawed and incomplete.  Forensic evidence proved conclusively that other people had used the computers. There was no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the perpetrator.   The jury agreed, returning a not guilty verdict in under an hour.

     All cases present unique issues and challenges.  The challenge here was to explain the technology so that the jury could see the truth.  If you are arrested for a crime you only get one chance to defend yourself.  You need lawyers that are prepared and experienced. You need Philly’s best defense. Call Scarpello & LaTour, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.