June 17 2020
The Covid social distancing issues have cause a spike in child pornography cases. These are cases the detectives can work without leaving their office. Also, the social distancing has put many people out of work and consequently many people are sitting at home bored on their computers. Sheriff Grady Judd just ran a Polk County child pornography sex sting and proudly announced on television the arrests of 16 men he publically called “Deviants”. He proudly announced that all of them were charged with possession of child pornography with multiple second degree felonies and each faced life under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines. He claimed that all of them were dangerous and likely to molest children. He cited the “Butner Report”, a very slanted Government report that falsely claims that people who view child pornography go on to molest children. That false statement is also sadly the view of many uneducated prosecutors. The truth is that only about 3% are involved in contact offenses. The other statistic that is ignored is the fact that the recidivist rate (the likelihood of committing another sex offense) is incredibly low, lower than any of the other crimes.
Addiction to child pornography is a treatable illness. These men are not “deviants”, they are suffering from an illness. Many were molested as a child and were victims themselves of sexual abuse at an early age. Sadly, many in law enforcement do not understand this.
As a child pornography lawyer, I have the benefit of reading many psycho-sexual evaluations done by qualified and experienced psychologists. The prosecutors on the other hand only hear the spin put on cases by men like Grady Judd.
When the police run a child pornography Sting, do they post links to child pornography sites? By law, they cannot post child porn, but they can put links to sites out there, and then, when men to the links, arrest them for receipt or transmission of kiddie porn. In the perfect world, police are here to serve and protect. We do not live in a perfect world. If an agency gets Federal ICAC funding, they have to produce results. Also, going on television and proudly proclaiming that you are keeping children safe from deviants makes good sense politically and will get you re-elected sheriff.
As a sex crime lawyer, and former prosecutor myself, I understand how misguided the current police philosophy is. These men are sick and need help, not life in prison. Prevention is a much better solution than prosecution. Ninety nine percent of all child pornography could simply be blocked on the Internet, but that would not result in arrest statistics. If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of child pornography, transmission of child ponrography or are under investigation for child pornography in polk county, call an experienced child pornography defense attorney who can explain your options in your fact specific case . At Aiken and O’Halloran there is no charge for your initial consultation. Call Today at 941-366-3506.