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Child Pornography Investigations in Ohio

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There are very few criminal cases in the world that are more disgusting than downloading and possessing child pornography. However, these types of cases are always met with the same question - who are these men and why do they want to view such horrific images?

There is no single answer, there is no simple answer. But, there are theories ranging from straight up pedophilia to TBI and intellectual disabilities.

Most child pornography prosecutions (“CP”) in Ohio arise from a referral from ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) or the NCMEC (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children). Evidence of an individual downloading CP is identified by ICAC software that monitors known CP files (like a fishing lure) and records the IP address. The internet service provider (ISP) is identified. A search warrant is sent to the ISP to identify the account holder and address. Law enforcement will then conduct surveillance on the target address to try and identify the potential perpetrator. Eventually, law enforcement “swears out” an affidavit in support of a search warrant to (1) enter the home; (2) seize all electronic devices; and, (3) attempt to forensically enter the electronic devices.

During this raid, the suspect of the investigation is removed from the home and placed in a secure vehicle while being told he is “free to go”. The lead detectives will attempt to interview the suspect and reverse proffer him (i.e. show the evidence law enforcement has against him) in an effort to secure a confession. Some men confess, many claim ignorance.

Once the home is cleared and all devices have been removed the subject may be arrested and taken to jail or simply released. If the client is arrested he will have a bond hearing, bond will be posted and he will be released pending an indictment. If he is not arrested, his case will be presented directly to a grand jury for indictment.

Hiring a defense lawyer with familiarity with these cases is exceptionally important given the gravity of the charges and prison exposure. Downloading CP carries a prison term of 2-8 years per file. Sentencing is much harsher in the federal court system.

There are many steps a client and defense attorney can take to mitigate a CP case but it starts as soon as the client gets released from custody.

To contact Mr. Koffel for representation, call (614) 675-4845.