Andrew J. Myers is in a great deal of trouble.
He lives in Worcester County’s Whitinsville Village
He leads a Boy Scout troop, teaches in the Northbridge school system and has served on its school committee.
He is a 34-year-old attorney who is hereinafter referred to as the “Defendant”.
The Defendant appeared for his initial appearance in Boston’s United States District Court today. He was arrested at his home and brought to the federal court. He has been charged with possessing child pornography and for allegedly enticing children into performing sex acts over the Internet.
The investigation involved both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as the Larimer County sheriff’s office in Colorado. The authorities in Colorado contacted the Northbridge police concerning a complaint that a 12-year-old boy in Colorado had been communicating via e-mail and Skype with a 33-year-old man. The man, they said, was identified as “Myers”. Assistance was sought in the investigation and so local authorities complied.
So did federal authorities.
The allegations included enticing the boy to engage in sexual acts over Skype, a web-streaming video service, officials said. Law enforcement also claims that the Defendant has allegedly communicated via e-mail with at least three individuals who are suspected to be minor males. In the e-mails, the Defendant is said to have offered to perform sexual acts on the boys.
Upon further investigation, law enforcement also claims to have discovered that the Defendant received e-mails containing sexually explicit images of prepubescent boys.
If convicted, the Defendant faces a minimum of 10 years to a lifetime in prison on the enticement charge and up to 10 years on the child pornography charge. Both charges carry a sentence of five years to a lifetime of supervised release.
Not to mention the Sex Offender Registry.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Cyber-Crimes Of A Sexual Nature
This case can end up being actually prosecuted in a few different ways and in a couple different jurisdictions. It appears, however, that the charges relating to both states will be handled in federal court.
While charges involving the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography would be bad enough, the allegations here are worse. They will involve even harsher treatment than mere possession of anonymous pictures and videos as there is a readily human face on at least one of the victims.
Many people still believe that if they are in possession of child pornography, however they get it, they can simply delete the files and, as a result, be out of danger. They are wrong.
Law enforcement has developed various capabilities to read hard drives and find the existence of files that have even been deleted.
The scientific and forensic advances over the past several years in these types of cases have been many.
Identifying internet addresses, leading to Wi-Fi inspecting of computers and the eventual seizing of computers and subpoenaing of records are merely components of these types of cases.
“Sam, what if I had child pornography in the past and have since stopped collecting it…am I home free?”
No, not necessarily. That would involve various legal issues.
“What if I had this type of relationship with someone who turned out to be a child, but, because he consented, I had no reason to doubt I was not doing anything illegal? Am I out of danger?”
No. First of all, a child cannot consent. Of course, such a case would be case specific. However, in a case such as this, it is difficult to argue you did not know the person on the other end of the communication was a child when you have that person sending you photos, or acting out fantasies for you.
As you might imagine, these cases can be very complex and are extremely serious. Regardless of the outcome of the matter, these types of charges tend to end careers and destroy families. They also tend to involve incarceration.
Of course, a guilty finding in these cases means so much more.
So, the bottom-line advice is the same as always…only more so. If you even suspect that you may be being investigated, it is important to engage the services of experienced counsel so that, at the very least, you will be prepared for a very swift and harsh criminal justice whip before it actually comes down.
For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/21/part-time-teacher-and-boy-scout-leader-from-northbridge-facing-child-porn-charges/BfZvD00nlUgA2wNOIQjfXJ/story.html