This past October Daniel Goichman of Southborough, Massachusetts was charged in the Westborough District Court on charges of Possession of Child Pornography. It is alleged that while online he solicited minors. His home was searched and a Search Warrant was also issued for his computer. Apparently the search of the computer provided evidence that Goichman had been distributing Child Pornography as well. Goichman has a conviction for Rape stemming from an out of state incident in 2001. Bail has been set in the amount of seventy thousand dollars. The case will be prosecuted in the Worcester Superior Court.
Worcester County Sex Crimes Lawyer, Rape, Child Abuse
Distribution of Child Pornography or Possession With the Intent to Distribute Child Pornography in Massachusetts is prohibited by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29B(b). A conviction of this crime is a felony punishable by a minimum mandatory ten year prison sentence and as much as twenty years in jail.
As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer I have represented several people charged with Distribution of Child Pornography. Not one of these people actively disseminated the illicit material. Upon their arrest, all of these people were stunned to find out that they were facing lengthy mandatory prison sentences. They were also shocked to learn that their actions satisfied the element of distribution. After all, the only thing they did was download and view the material. They never actively distributed what these images and videos. How then could they be charged with distribution? Perhaps the case of United States v. Richardson best outlines the dangers of file sharing and the rationale for why peer to peer file sharing constitutes the act of distribution.
In Richardson law enforcement entered a p2p network in an undercover capacity. They found Child Pornography in one of the user’s accounts. The police downloaded the illicit material from this person’s account. The user was identified as the defendant and a Search Warrant was executed at his home. The search confirmed p2p activity. Richardson was convicted after a jury waived trial. Affirming the conviction the court reasoned that the structure of the p2p programs encourages file sharing. Users get a rating based on their contribution to the network. A higher rating facilitates downloading additional materials. Richardson argued that distributing equates with delivering. He claimed that he never actually transferred the Child Pornography to anyone. Rather, he only permitted entry into his computer. The court rejected this argument and held “that downloading images and videos containing child pornography from a peer-to-peer computer network and storing them in a shared folder accessible to other users on the network amounts to distribution.” This seems to be the consensus throughout the country.