Child Porn Law Upheld by Supreme Court! “Protecting Our Kids” Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments

May 19, 2008

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court in which they upheld the law aimed at preventing child pornography. Scalia called internet child porn a “threat.” He’s right. As a frequent speaker on teen ethics and computer crimes, it is clear that the internet is becoming a distribution haven for child porn and more importantly it is a playground for child predators.

A federal law, the “Protect” Act enacted in 2003 made it a crime not only to produce and possess child porn, but also to “pander” material, conveying the belief that material contains minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The pandering provision covers anyone who “advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits” this material.

According to CNN in a recent report: As part of a 2004 sting operation, an undercover Secret Service agent (using the screen name “Lisa–n–Miami”) communicated with Williams in an Internet chat room. Williams allegedly wrote, “Dad of toddler has ‘good’ pics of her an (sic) me for swap of your toddler pics, or live cam.” He posted nonpornographic photos of a young girl and claimed he had “hc,” or hard-core, kiddie pictures, prosecutors contend.

The man then allegedly posted photos of youngsters involved in “sexually explicit conduct,” according to court records. Twenty-two other child porn images were found on his home computer.

A federal appeals court upheld a possession conviction against Williams, but threw out the separate soliciting charge, which carried a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. A three-judge panel concluded the provision was “substantially overbroad and vague,” and that “non-commercial, non-inciteful promotion of illegal child pornography, even if repugnant, is protected free speech.” In other words, the judges said merely talking about child porn is not necessarily criminal.

Today’s ruling by the high Court upheld the law by ruling that a provision dealing with “pandering” illicit material does not violate constitutional protections on free speech. The ruling was 7 to 2.

Scalia stated, “Child pornography harms and debases the most defenseless of our citizens. This court held unconstitutional Congress’ previous attempt to meet this new threat, and Congress responded with a carefully crafted attempt to eliminate the First Amendment problems we [earlier] identified.”

There has been some concern that some people might be targeted unfairly when engaged in lawful, artistic or editorial free speech. Example were used among them were mainstream movies such as “Lolita,” “Traffic,” and “Titanic,” all of which depicted scenarios in which underage girls were engaging in simulated sex.

According to the AP – Justice David Souter, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissented. Souter said promotion of images that are not real children engaging in pornography still could be the basis for prosecution under the law. Possession of those images, on the other hand, may not be prosecuted, Souter said.

“I believe that maintaining the First Amendment protection of expression we have previously held to cover fake child pornography requires a limit to the law’s criminalization of pandering proposals,” Souter said.

The reality is child porn is too easy to get and in so many ways our children aren’t protected. Odd, but the profile of a person convicted of child porn is – ANYONE. Most recently a Plano, Texas minister who was arrested in an internet sex sting operation has resigned his position as a pastor at a Dallas-area megachurch. Joe Barron was charged with solicitation of a minor. The solicitation was via the internet.

As a white collar crime speaker, unlike traditional forms of white collar crime, convictions related to Child Porn seem to carry far greater sentences and long term consequences. One of the most significant things that parents can do is become educated. Child porn is more accessible via the internet and that – THE INTERNET – is where parents need education. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and others are not dangerous on the whole, but Child Predators can use those mediums as a way to deceive and commit their crimes. I teach seminars and workshops on cyber-crime and what every parent should know to protect their children.

If you or your organization is interested in my newest program – PROTECTING OUR KIDS: What Every Parent Should Know About Computer Crimes – contact me at chuck@chuckgallagher.com.

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Ohio Pediatrician – Robert Reinhold – Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography! Sad and the Consequences will be Significant!

May 19, 2008

Several programs are underway to catch those who victimize children via child porn. In this case, Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers was the vehicle to catch a pediatrician who engaged in child porn.

Operation Predator is a comprehensive initiative designed to protect young people from child pornographers, alien smugglers, human traffickers, and other predatory criminals.

Robert Reinhold, age 55, and a pediatrician in Troy, Ohio pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea and agreed to by Reinhold, between April 22, 2003 and October 24, 2007, Reinhold knowingly received and possessed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, those depictions having been mailed and transported in interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer.

Reinhold admitted that he received and possessed the child pornography at his house, by purchasing multiple subscriptions to commercial child pornography websites which offered members-only access to images of child pornography. He saved more than 600 images and movies on his home computer and on an external hard drive connected to it. Reinhold printed out hundreds of the images which he kept and stored at his home. Among the child pornography found were images of prepubescent minors and minors under the
age of 12. As part of his plea agreement, Reinhold agreed to forfeit to the United States his computer equipment and storage media, as well as his interest in his house.

The Dayton Daily News reported: TROY — Catherine Peoples, 34, of Troy is a mother of four with a fifth child on the way who has taken her children to pediatrician Robert Reinhold for seven years.

She said that in light of the doctor’s arrest Wednesday on charges of possessing child pornography, she’ll be taking her children to another pediatrician.

Peoples said she learned of the arrest while reading news stories on the Web.

“He gave good care to children,” she said. “I’ve always been in the room with my kids” when they visited, she noted. “The thought is really upsetting. It’s really a shock. I would not have suspected this.”

COMMENT: Whether Operation Predator or Project Safe Childhood – the government’s efforts to crack down on Child Porn is paying off. Multiple arrests are being made across the nation with substantial indictments and long prison terms that follow. Every choice has a consequence. In the case of Child Porn – it is likely that one will be caught one way or the other and the consequences are substantial.

Federal law mandates forfeiture of both personal and real property used or intended to be used to commit or
promote the commission of certain child exploitation offenses, including receipt or possession of child pornography. Reinhold agreed to pay to the United States more than $130,000, which was the value of his interest in the house.

Receipt of child pornography is punishable by at least five and up to 20 years imprisonment, five years up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

“Investigators have determined that these are images of real children,” Lockhart said, “but at this time, none of the victims appear to be patients of his.”

COMMENT: As a white collar crime speaker, unlike traditional forms of white collar crime, convictions related to Child Porn carry far greater sentences and long term consequences. One of the most significant things that parents can do is become educated. Child porn is more accessible via the internet and that – THE INTERNET – is where parents need education. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and others are not dangerous on the whole, but Child Predators can use those mediums as a way to deceive and commit their crimes. I teach seminars and workshops on cyber-crime and what every parent should know to protect their children.

Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 individuals, including more than 110 in Ohio.

“It a tragedy when those who are supposed to protect children choose to sexually exploit them instead,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Ohio and Michigan. “Fortunately, the combined aggressive efforts of ICE and the U.S. Attorney’s office helped prevent Mr. Reinhold from further exploiting the child victims by illegally using and sharing their images.”

Robert V. Reinhold, 55, will be sentenced Aug. 1 by U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose. Under the plea agreement reached, should Rose accept it, Reinhold will be sentenced to a five-year term. He could have faced a maximum 20 years in prison.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

If you or your organization is interested in my newest program – PROTECTING OUR KIDS: What Every Parent Should Know About Computer Crimes – contact me at chuck@chuckgallagher.com


William Don Woods – 87 Month in Prison for Child Porn on His iPod!

May 18, 2008

EVERY CHOICE HAS A CONSEQUENCE. You cannot hide – no matter how hard you try – those choices and actions you take that are wrong – morally, ethically or legally.

So imagine, you have an inclination toward Child Porn. You down load it from your computer. You leave your ipod in your car or at a friend’s house (forgetting you’ve got child porn on it). Next thing you know the police are at your door. You’re arrested. Your friend – repulsed by child porn – turns you in. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!

William Don Woods, age 31, of Claremore, was sentenced to prison in federal court in Tulsa on April 29 for having images of child pornography on his iPod.

An indictment was issued and revealed the details of the pornography contained on the iPod, including approximately 10 pornographic photos depicting 5-, 6-, 8-, 12- and 13-year-old children involved in sexual acts. There was also more than one video file with at least one depicting a 10-year-old girl involved in sexual acts. – source The Claremore Daily Progress

Chief U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Woods to over seven years (87 months) imprisonment for the crime of Possession of Child Pornography. On August 25, 2007, an acquaintance found Wood’s iPod and turned it over to Claremore police. It contained multiple pictures and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit acts with adults and with other children. The material had been obtained from peer-to-peer file sharing sites on the Internet. Woods was charged in a federal indictment in November 2007 and he pled
guilty on January 18.

The federal indictment in this case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and the continuing effort to target individuals who possess and/or distribute child pornography. The Department launched Project Safe Childhood in February 2006 as a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices nationwide, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, and helps identify and assist the victims of these atrocious
crimes.

COMMENT: Project Safe Childhood is producing significant dividends. Many have been convicted for child porn. What makes it easy to obtain child porn also makes it easy to catch. Recently in News Busters the following was reported:

Famed left-wing radio personality Bernie Ward of San Francisco, a former priest who had one of the loudest and most consistently anti-George W. Bush voices in the entire nation, was found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography on Friday and will serve at least five years in prison. ward tried to argue that he was “doing research” on child pornography, but as the San Francisco Chronicle reported:

His hopes of maintaining a defense based on a constitutional right to research taboo subjects appeared to be weakened further when police in Oakdale (Stanislaus County) released transcripts in February of a series of online sex chats between Ward and a dominatrix in December 2004 and January 2005. The transcripts quote Ward as fantasizing about naked children with no apparent reference to any subject he was researching. Police said he had sent photos to the woman that showed children engaged in sexual activity.

White Collar Crime Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…


Child Pornography Admissions – Ronald Stevens Pleads Guilty! Comments By Teen Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

April 7, 2008

It seems that Monday has been the day for several admissions or sentencings for Child Pornography. This one comes out of Pennsylvania where Ronald Stevens, age 42, plead guilty to receiving child pornography by downloading images of child pornography from his computer.

The investigation conducted by the FBI and Pittston Township Police are part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

As a speaker, I often address groups on issues of teen ethics and safety. More times than not I find that parents – even those who are internet familiar – are not fully connected with how predators use the internet and other media to lure their unsuspecting prey. The unfortunate thing is that many times the damage is done before one becomes aware that the predator is on the prowl. I highly advise groups to become informed about the dangers of sexual predators and how to prevent or deter their efforts. After all, if we can’t become educated about how to protect our children – who will protect them?

Your comments are welcome!


Child Porn – The Internet – A Sheriff’s Deputy and PRISON!

March 18, 2008

Most people might look at the title and assume the Sherriff’s Deputy was the one who saved the day. WRONG! He was the one guilty. As I’ve said before, Child Pornographers come from all walks of life.

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MICHAEL PAUL KENNEDY, 32, pleaded guilty to transporting or shipping child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography on October 3, 2007. On March 12, 2008, KENNEDY was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for his choices.

On October 7, 2006, law enforcement officers acting on information received from a federal investigation into on-line child pornography sites, interviewed KENNEDY in Nacogdoches and subsequently took possession of his personal computer. The computer was found to contain over a thousand images of child pornography. At the time of the investigation, KENNEDY was employed as a Lieutenant with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office. He is no longer employed with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.

In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The playground is dramatically different today than when most parents today were reared.

“He (Kennedy) stood up and took responsibility for his actions and apologized to his friends, family and his community,” Heath said. “It’s an unfortunate and tragic thing, and he has recognized that there are absolutely victims even if all you are doing is viewing a picture.

Every choice has a consequence. As a white collar crime and teen ethics speaker, I speak from first hand experience about the truth about consequences. Reality is – no one escapes the consequences of their choices. While Kennedy avoided the consequences for a time – they are not avoided forever. You do reap what you sow.

White Collar Crime Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…


Child Sexual Predator – CBS Technician Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison!

March 4, 2008

As a teen ethics speaker, I have found that over time, more and more presentations are centered on sexual predators, the internet and how to protect our youth from folks who mean them harm.

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On October 25, 2007, a Ft. Pierce Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging Daniel J. Barron with persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing a person under 18 to engage in sexual activity. Barron, a CBS freelance technician, was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida covering a Miami Dolphins football game. On September 29, 2007, Barron entered an America Online chat room and began to correspond with an undercover police officer posing as the father of an eleven year old girl. During internet communications, Barron repeatedly expressed his desire to engage in sexual activity with the child. Barron made plans to meet the father and his fictitious 11 year old daughter. Barron later traveled to the meeting location in order to engage in sexual activity with the child.

According to local10.com news: The affidavit alleges that Barron said hello and wrote, “So do you and the kids all enjoy some adventure?” When the detective identified himself as an adult with an 11-year-old daughter, Barron allegedly responded, “Very, very cool. Not a cop.”

According to the affidavit, Barron asked if the undercover detective and his fictitious daughter would visit him. When the detective said he wasn’t interested in fantasy chat, Barron allegedly responded, “I am very serious. You and the dau come down here.”

Every choice has a consequence. On March 3, 2008 Daniel J. Barron was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison followed by 15 years of supervised released. At age 56, Barron will find the final years of his life marred by life in prison.

Sexual predators come from all walks of life and are all ages. One of the major issues that parents face is lack of knowledge of the playing field for sexual predators today.

Questions for Parents:

  1. Do you know what sites your children visit?
  2. Are you familiar with MySpace – Facebook and how social networking works?
  3. Would you know what to look for if your child was viewing inappropriate sites?

Former NASA Contract Employee Guilty in Child Pornography Case! You Never Know Where They Will Come From!

February 26, 2008

The internet is a virtual playground for child predators. Parents, for the most part, have no idea what the environment is like and how dangerous it can be for those who need our protection – our children.

Likewise, we never know who the predators are and where they might come from. Often we think of them as the lowest element of society. Yet, sometimes we find that they are rocket scientists!

Ernst John Rohde, 63, a former contract employee at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, pleaded guilty on Friday to receiving images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Rohde admitted to having used computers to access images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from both the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, while employed there, and from his home in Stockton. During the plea hearing, the government prosecutor informed the Court that Rohde had downloaded thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

Every choice has a consequence. Often, however, we think of the consequences as only directly affecting the party in question – in this case – Rohde. That is an inaccurate assumption. The children – whose images were transmitted – were victims. In many cases, such crimes go undetected at home or under the nose of the parents, since they don’t know what to look for or how to spot inappropriate activities.

As a teen ethics speaker, I find that often I am called upon to speak to groups about protecting children from the predators found in cyberspace. While I wish this were not such a hot and important topic, I find that parents find great benefit when they understand what to look for and how to be more vigilant against child pornography and predators.

Comments are welcome!