Military Child Porn Case: Hard Drive Leads to Hard Time

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Q: What are the possible punishments for possessing child pornography in military court?

In military court, the potential punishments upon a guilty plea or conviction in a child pornography court-martial case can be severe. In addition to confinement, the soldier may face dishonorable discharge and loss of all veteran’s and military benefits.

With their reputation, career, family life, freedom, and financial future on the line, accused soldiers would be wise to consult an experienced civilian military defense attorney rather than settle for an inexperienced court- appointed attorney from the trial defense service. An experienced attorney can skillfully negotiate a plea or aggressively pursue a defense, often even in the face of a case that appears to be a slam dunk.

Recently, a former vice commander at Shaw Air Force Base pleaded guilty to “wrongfully possessing images and videos of child pornography” in violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”).

Reportedly, five of the six devices seized from the accused Colonel contained “evidence of child pornography” and over 19,000 images were recovered from “an external USB hard drive” by a Computer Forensic Analyst at the Department of Defense’s Defense Computer Forensics Laboratory.

In response, the defense counsel brought in 10 character witnesses, including the Colonel’s wife and daughter. Reportedly admitting to downloading the images, the Colonel apologized to the US Air Force and to his family and indicated that “stress and depression” related to his brother’s death “altered” his judgment.

After his trial before a military judge instead of a jury, he was sentenced to “12 months in the brig”, dishonorable discharge from the Air Force, and loss of “substantially all benefits administered by the department of Veterans Affairs and the Air Force”.

If you are or believe you might soon be facing a military court-martial for child pornography or other child related offenses, the attorneys at the Court Martial Law division of Aviso Law LLC have years of military law experience on both the trial and appellate court level and have successfully defended soldiers in the most high profile cases. Call us today at 719-247-3111 for a free consultation. From our offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, we defend soldiers located in the United States as well as internationally and in all branches of the military.

 

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