Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

WORCESTER MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING AND DISSEMINATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY BY FEDERAL PROSECUTORS SAY HE WAS ABOUT TO DO EVEN WORSE

You won’t be seeing 40-year-old Geoffrey Portway of Worcester (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) around for awhile. A 27 years while.

The Defendant pleaded guilty in May to distribution and possession of child pornography as well as solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Pending his sentencing, federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing recommendation that he “has pled guilty to some of the most vile and heinous crimes known to our society,”

Last Tuesday, he was sentenced to just under the 27-year, three-month sentence sought by prosecutors.

As much as we consider pedophilia a sickness and the collection of child pornography a criminal extension of such a sickness, the Defendant’s intentions are said to be much darker and much sicker. According to the prosecution, his current crime involving the pornography was not enough for him.

He wanted to go further.

The government says that he wanted to kidnap, rape, kill and eat children. In fact, he is said to have chatted online, under his moniker “Fat Longpig” with other men about such mutual desires.

Apparently, it was these chat sessions that put the Defendant on the radar screen of police. Last year, his residence in Worcester was searched for child pornography. Authorities say they found tens of thousands of computer images and videos of child pornography and 4,500 exchanges of child pornography between the Defendant and the people he chatted with online. That might be bad enough, as such exchanges means not mere possession but dissemination of the material.

But these were not all child pornography of the typical variety. They included pictures of children being cooked and prepared to be eaten, according to court documents. Searching further, authorities also found a locked basement, court documents show. Photos taken the day of the Defendant’s arrest, and released by prosecutors, show a narrow wooden staircase leading downstairs to a soundproof room.

The room was furnished with a metal cage with a circular hole for feeding, butchering tools, metal restraints, a rusted and worn steel-topped table, as well as multiple kinds of metal bondage equipment. A child-sized coffin made of plywood was also found on the floor nearby.

Prosecutors say that the Defendant’s computer shows that he solicited people for help for a kidnapping with the intent of raping, killing and eating a child. One of the chat transcripts is said to indicate that the Defendant had assembled everything he needed to carry out his plan… except for a child.

The prosecution argues that plans were in the works to solve that problem. The chat reads, “I want to eat … the two boys you will bring me…Perhaps not today, but it will happen. That is all I live for. … I am serious. It is the only thing that gets me up in the morning.”

The Defendant’s attorney referred to the soundproof room in the basement as a “theater” rather than a dungeon, and said the Defendant used it as part of his “fantasy world.”

“He walked in there and he would do his fantasies, and he would do it in the privacy of his own home,” the lawyer argued. He further argued that his client, a computer programmer, never tried to put himself in a position where he would have contact with children and never “laid a hand on any minors.”

“In [the Defendant’s] case, there’s pornography, there’s a fantasy world, there’s no child,” he said.

The prosecutor these claims saying that claiming it was only a fantasy and he has not done any of the violence yet is the only thing he can claim.

Maybe, but then again, that does not mean the argument is not accurate.

Attorney Sam’s Take On “Crimes” Of The Mind ?!?

This case has other interesting issues in it we could discuss sometime, but, clearly, the primary issue is summed up in the prosecutor’s words, “[The Defendant’s] collection is truly chilling and demonstrates a real risk based upon which the Court should sentence The Defendant to a substantial term of years in order to protect the public.”

What do we know that we have here?

We seem to have both the possession and distribution of child pornography. Really, really bad child pornography. We also have steps taken which indicate to the prosecution that the Defendant was about to wreak some of the havoc that appears in the pictures he collected.

But, then, there is no evidence that he had actually tried to do any such wreaking yet. In fact, the Defendant claims it was all part of his fantasy…which could be consistent with the worst pictures, photos or whatever, and chats that were found.

As bad as dealing in child pornography is, does it really fit under the prosecutor’s description as the “most vile and heinous crimes known to our society”?

Or is that referring to something else? Something not charged and, not something for which the Defendant has been convicted?

In other words, actions that might or might not have ever taken place in the future but had not taken place yet.

One might argue that, at most, it is a crime of the mind.

It is not as simple as you might think!

Let’s continue this discussion tomorrow.

To read the original stories upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/12/justice/cannibal-eat-children-case/index.html and http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/feds-27-yr-sentence-child-porn-case-20275776

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