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Child Porn Charges Follow Breakup of Cohabitation Arrangement

The fall-out when a cohabitation arrangement breaks up can be very unpredictable. Unlike a divorce, a formal property settlement is not necessary. But if the couple had children, child support and child custody may need to be determined.

Moreover, even if there is no formal property division, sometimes issues related to the couple's property must be resolved. For example, in a recent case handled by our firm, the former live-in girlfriend of a Clinton Township man claimed that she found child porn on the couple's shared computer.

The girlfriend had been searching for photos of herself to delete because the couple was about to break up.

After receiving a tip from the girlfriend in April 2011, police investigated and eventually Macomb County authorities brought charges against the man for possession of child pornography.

Prosecutors claimed that the man had downloaded onto his computer nearly 1,000 images that were suspected of being pornographic. He also allegedly downloaded additional images through a file-sharing program.

Mary Mahoney, an attorney from our firm, was successfully defended the man against the most serious charges, particularly a count asserting that he had created child pornography. Mahoney was able to help the jury determine that a nude photo taken of his 16-year-old fiancé was taken legally when the man was 18.

The jury also convicted the man on a count of distributing child porn and of using a computer to commit a crime.

Though the jury did convict the man on some of the charges, Mahoney plans to appeal. She argues that police illegally searched the man's computer.

Source: "Mixed verdict in child porn case," Macomb Daily, Jameson Cook, 8-24-12

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