Articles Posted in NYC Sex Crimes Defense

While it is known knowledge to anyone who has ever consulted a lawyer that these private communications seeking legal help are completely confidential, people behind bars are not exactly awarded that same privilege.

Despite the fact that the attorney-client privilege is the oldest, broadest and perhaps the most important of all privileges in the American legal system, inmates awaiting trial or appealing a conviction have this privilege ignored as soon as they login to access their email.

The Bureau of Prisons has made limited email access available to federal inmates, however there is a price for that access and inmates are warned every single time they log in that the government is allowed to monitor and read all messages sent and received. And federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are taking advantage of this fact by freely accessing emails between inmates and their attorneys.

6160077394_fea830a2a2_mIn fact, in one case, prosecutors read more than 12,000 pages of emails sent by an imprisoned former Pennsylvania senator, and then included them in their argument for a harsher resentencing.

Government lawyers argue that because inmates must knowingly consent to the inspection of all email messages, they waive the attorney-client privilege. This argument has also been accepted by several federal judges who have ruled on this issue. The government claims it would cost too much to separate attorney-client emails from other kinds of email messages, and that inmates also have many other means of communication such as letters, phone calls and in-person visits.

However, email is the most common form of modern communication, especially by lawyers. The value of email is even greater to those behind bars as it can take weeks for confidential letters to be processed by prison officials, and setting up an unmonitored phone call can take months, if the request is even answered at all. Personal meetings in prison can be difficult to arrange, time-consuming and costly.

One Brooklyn federal judge has weighed her opinion on the government’s rationales. In a case against a surgeon accused of Medicare fraud, the prosecutor told the judge that he had no interest in reading a defendant’s emails to his lawyer for “strategic advantage.” The judge replied by saying, “That’s hogwash. You’re going to tell me you don’t want to know what your adversary’s strategy is? What kind of a litigator are you then? Give me a break.” The judge then ruled that the government could not take a peek at any emails between the surgeon and his lawyers.

There are undoubtedly serious criminal rights issues with the government reading inmates emails, the most disturbing being the fact that prosecutors have the ability to determine the defense’s strategy before trial. It seems like this will be an issue for the Supreme Court to handle in the very near future.

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A New York Police Department officer, a Fire Department of New York paramedic, a rabbi and a scoutmaster were among more than 70 people arrested in a major child porn bust on Wednesday.

The investigation began as part of an undercover operation into peer-to-peer networks and involved agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as New York authorities. The suspects were apparently able to search files using graphic terms and descriptions, according to authorities. Law enforcement claims that software continuously scanned files and automatically uploaded images to personal computers, laptops and mobile phones.

keyboard child pornThe operation yielded a total of 71 arrests, including one woman, and the seizure of nearly 600 devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and thumb drives allegedly containing tens of thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children.

The head of Homeland Security Investigations New York called this sting operation the largest enforcement operation in New York that targeted supposed child predators possessing, distributing or producing sexually explicit images of minors.

According to authorities, the pornographic images were shared at no charge.

One of the men arrested, a supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration, is accused of travelling to the Dominican Republic to have sex with children, according to law enforcement officials. He allegedly made more than 50 trips there.

The arrest of the chief of the Mount Pleasant Police Department in upstate Valhalla, New York, on child pornography violations apparently helped lead to the arrests of others, according to reports.

Nearly a third of the suspects remain in custody, while the others were released on bonds ranging from $30,000 to $500,000.

Both federal and New York state laws are quite severe regarding child pornography crimes. The possession, production and  distribution of child pornography can carry very harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and registration as a sex offender, which can jeopardize the future of those who are convicted. A conviction for a child pornography offense can haunt you for the rest of your life, which is why these charges must be taken extremely serious and dealt with early on.

Every image that depicts child porn can be charged as a separate crime, meaning that the penalties can become enhanced as the number of photos increases. The punishments for these charges may include multiple years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

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A 36-year-old public school teacher in Queens has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old former student of his elementary school.

The English teacher was arrested last month and charged with two counts of first-degree rape, 10 counts of second-degree rape and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The sexual relationship allegedly began in November, and the man is accused of having sex with the girl in his Queens home.

The girl’s sister apparently found a series of text messages between the two and took the information to the police.

The man has been removed from the classroom. However, no complaints have been filed against this teacher in the past.

1418319_freedom.jpgTeachers accused of sex crimes have a lot to lose. In addition to possible criminal penalties, they also face suspension or job loss at the school where they teach. If you are a teacher and have been accused of a sex crime or are under investigation for any type of crime, you must take swift action to protect your rights. A NYC Sex Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton help you establish a powerful defense against whatever charges you are up against, as well as help you through any administration or disciplinary hearings that you may face.

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