Yesterday a Marblehead, Massachusetts man was arraigned on Child Pornography Charges in the Lynn District Court. The thirty three year old defendant was charged with Distribution of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography. Authorities stated that an Essex County Internet Crimes Task Force identified the defendant in the course of one of its investigations. A Search Warrant was obtained and executed at his home. A computer was seized and searched. On it the police found about one hundred lime wire files depicting children engaged in pornographic acts. The basis of the distribution allegation centers on the use of a file sharing service. Bail was set in the amount of ten thousand dollars. The defendant’s lawyer asked that the case file be sealed pending a resolution of the case. He stated that a release of this information prior to trial would create irreparable harm regardless of the outcome of the case. The judge temporarily allowed the request citing non-compliance with the Massachusetts Uniform Impoundment laws.
So what are the Massachusetts Uniform Impoundment Rules? In Massachusetts a party is allowed to file a motion for the impoundment of certain materials provided the motion states sufficient grounds and is supported by an affidavit. The motion must state with particularity the material the party seeks to impound. A time period for impoundment must be stated. The request for impoundment can be made prior to the filing of the objectionable material. In some instances third parties have the right to be heard in opposition to a motion to impound. Impoundment may be allowed only after a showing of “good cause”. Good cause contemplates the nature of this matter, the type of information that his being requested to be impounded, the reasons for the request and the interests of the community in general. Orders of impoundment may be modified. Appeals of these orders are brought before a single justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
An Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer would want to use this rule in a case like this one. The allegations against the defendant are heinous. Anytime a search of this defendant’s name is entered these charges and the article will appear regardless of the outcome of the case. Concealing the details of this case and the data identifying the defendant to these allegations is a great strategy particularly in cases where lawyers are confident that a favorable result will follow for their client. The problem however is that the public oftentimes has access to this material prior to the case being brought forward in court. This can make the application of the impoundment rules improbable.
Our office defends Child Pornography Charges in Massachusetts state courts and the federal courts. We are aware of the damage that mere allegations can cause and we fight to keep these matters private. If you are in trouble you need a lawyer who knows the laws and will fight to protect your rights. Call us at 617-263-6800 or email us with any questions.