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Missouri man charged with child pornography offenses

Many St. Louis residents would probably find it hard to live without the Internet. It seems virtually everything is done online nowadays, including working, shopping and keeping in touch with family and friends. While the Internet has transformed the lives of St. Louis residents because of its immense presence, it can also be at the center of some serious problems for certain individuals.

Perhaps the best example of this is when individuals face serious charges involving child pornography allegedly obtained over the Internet. Investigators are constantly searching the Internet to try to find individuals who they believe are downloading or upholding illegal materials. Accordingly, individuals may not know that they are being monitored or tracked by authorities online, at least when it comes to questionable materials.

For instance, an investigation recently resulted in the arrest of a Missouri man on 10 counts of possessing child pornography. The investigators had located the man's computer online, and downloaded two videos from his computer that purportedly showed child pornography. After tying the man's IP address back to his address, the investigators were able to track down the man and search his home, where they allegedly found more files on the man's computer.

Cases like this are common, which make it important for those facing serious charges to have a solid child pornography defense. Individuals may not understand the mechanics of an online investigation, and how that can result in search warrants for the person's home. Simply because investigators are working online, as opposed to more traditional means, does not mean all rules of law are thrown out the door.

For instance, in applying for a search warrant based on information obtained online, law enforcement still must satisfy the probable cause standard and present adequate proof to a judge. Accordingly, if law enforcement officials fail these steps, it can present an effective criminal defense to the charges.

Source: KBMC, "Warrensburg substitute teacher arrested on child porn charges," Jeffrey Field, April 23, 2014

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