An Andover man who is a former dean of the Business School at Merrimack College was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. The case is pending in the Lawrence District Court. The defendant has been identified as Edward Popper, 63. According to an article in the Andover Townsman an undercover Pennsylvania police officer had online meetings with Popper and learned that Popper possessed a large amount of child pornographic photographs. The office notified the Essex County District Attorney’s office which subsequently learned that Popper was the person communicating with the undercover. Popper was arrested, arraigned and released on $10,000 bail. During the arrest police seized Popper’s computers. As a condition of his bail he is ordered to keep off of the internet and any technological device through which he can have access to children. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for September 16, 2008.
In Massachusetts it is illegal to purchase or possess child porn. The statute, G.L. c. 272 sec. 29C prohibits 1) the possession or purchase of any picture, film, negative, book or compute image of a person he knows to be under the age of 18 or “reasonable should know” is under the age of 18; 2) that shows that individual having sex with a person or animal, masturbating, being lewdly touched, being bound, abused or portrayed in any lewd pose. A conviction for this offense carries a five year state prison sentence. The case cannot be continued without a finding.
Distribution of child pornography in Massachusetts is made criminal by G.L. c. 272 sec. 29B. That statute prohibits the dissemination of child porn or the possession with the intent to disseminate child pornography. A conviction under this statute requires the defendant to serve 10 years minimum in state prison. Consent is not a defense under this statute.
Given the severity of the punishments defendants face in Massachusetts child pornography cases one’s choice of defense lawyers is critical. Make sure when you are looking to hire a lawyer to defend you against child pornography sex crimes in Massachusetts you choose someone who understands the laws and has a proven record of success. For example, just this past summer a Massachusetts state worker was exonerated of child pornography charges when it was learned that his laptop contracted a virus that placed child porn on his hard drive. Once the virus hit the defendant’s laptop it filled up the browser’s cache with hundreds of child porn images. A good criminal defense lawyer will investigate his case to see if this or a similar situation placed his client in this terrible position.
A conviction for violating these laws also requires registration with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board.
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Child Pornography Defense Lawyers, Stephen Neyman
Massachusetts Child Pornography Defense Attorneys, Kathleen M. McCarthy