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Man in Fulton County Found with more than 20,000 child porn images

by | Feb 26, 2021 | Firm News |

On February 24, 2021, a man in Johns Creek, Georgia was arrested when an investigation found 20,000 child porn images on his computer. https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/johns-creek-man-had-more-than-20000-child-porn-images-police-say.

With the advent of the internet and the supposed anonymity it comes with, many people have turned to the internet to satisfy their interests in numerous topics, whether it be hobbies, sports or online gaming, whatever your interest there are hundreds of thousands of websites that can provide you what you need. Of course, with that expansive wealth of information, there are dangers that come with it. One of which is the risk of criminal prosecution for viewing and downloading child pornography.

Let’s start with the basics and work our way up to particularization of the charges in this situation. Many people all over the world view pornographic websites on a daily basis. The number of visits on Pornhub.com in 2018 was 33.5 billion. In 2019 that number jumped up to 42 billion and in 2020 the numbers are likely to be significantly higher. Some of these sites specialize in extreme pornographic material, including the depiction of young children in sexual acts. Some are real, some are fake.

O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2(c)(1) defines the crime of possession of child pornography as

A person commits the offense of computer or electronic pornography if such person intentionally or willfully(A) Compiles, enters into, or transmits by computer or other electronic device (B) Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computer or other electronic device (C) Causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by computer or other electronic device or (D) Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates
any notice, statement, or advertisement, or any child’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of offering or soliciting sexual conduct of or with an identifiable child or the visual depiction of such conduct.

As explained above, a person has to knowingly and willfully come into possession of pornographic material depicting an underage person engaged in sexual acts. Viewing it on a website is sufficient, as each website downloads information onto your computer, whether you know it or not. The act of seeking out child pornography is illegal, whether you intentionally save the material to your computer or not.

But how do the police know that this material has been viewed and or downloaded? Tips! Just like many other crimes, the police are given leads by individuals or organizations that protect the interests of children. One such organization is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which tracks known child pornography websites and files and provides such information to law enforcement.

Each time you use your computer to view or download anything from the internet, the i.p. address, (think your computer’s home address) is logged and that information can be tracked back to the registered user of the internet service. The investigating agency then determines based on such information whom to get a warrant for and what the scope of said warrant is.

The next step is a visit from the investigating officer to question the registered user, and any and all persons who have access to that i.p. address. They can subpoena your records from what ever internet provider you are using, search history, and seize any and all electronic storage devices (computers, external hard drives, cell phones etc…) to search for child pornography.

Once it is determined that a person actually possesses child pornography they are arrested. Possession of Child Pornography in Georgia carries a fine of up to $10,000.00 and by imprisonment of no less than one year up to twenty years. And this penalty is per image, video or document, so multiple items can lead to multiple charges. In the case of the Johns Creek man, 20,000 images could mean life in prison and up to two hundred million ($200,000,000.00) dollars in fines.