Defending Against Internet Sex Crime ChargesSeptember 3, 2015 | Written by Dan Margolis
Though everyone suspected of a crime in the U.S. is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court, outside of the courthouse things can be quite different. When a person is arrested on serious charges, they can expect their public reputation to be affected. Coworkers, neighbors, even friends and family may assume that you are guilty, even though you have not yet had the chance to confront the evidence against you.
Short of homicide, perhaps no criminal charges are as notorious as sex crimes, particularly crimes involving children. Allegations that you have child pornography on your computer can cost you your job, your friendships and possibly your marriage.
On top of this are the heavy penalties Ohio and federal law levies for Internet sex crimes. Investigators monitor chat rooms, conduct sting operations and use other aggressive tactics to seek people to arrest.
Because it involves the exchange of videos, images and other files over the Internet, computer-related sex crimes can be highly technical. Prosecutors will try to prove that the defendant received, possessed, and/or distributed the illegal files.
Thus, computer forensics may be a vital part of the defense strategy. An expert witness can examine the defendant’s computers and other equipment to determine the origin of the illegal images. Believe it or not, just because a file is on a computer, it does not mean one of its users put it there on purpose. Hackers sometimes use third-party computers as routing points, causing files to appear on a hard drive without the owner’s knowledge or consent.
Being charged with an Internet sex crime is scary for most people, but despite the gravity of the charges, defendants still have the same rights as every other criminal suspect.