A former candidate for county judge has been convicted on federal charges of child enticement, possession or accessing child pornography and receipt of child pornography.
Our Birmingham criminal defense lawyers know that these charges have not only derailed his career, they will likely land him in prison for some time. Allegations such as these are of the utmost seriousness.
Even in cases like this, where no child was actually touched or harmed, prosecutors do not take these charges lightly. That means you can't afford to either. When you're facing child pornography charges, your reputation, career and freedom are on the line, and you have to fight back with everything. That means working with a criminal defense team that is experienced, knowledgeable and has a proven track record of success.
The 59-year-old defendant in this case also faces state charges, for enticing a minor for sexual purposes and traveling to meet a minor for sexual purposes, as well as for possession of both drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
All these charges stem incident or series of incidents in which the former candidate reportedly was exchanging online messages with a 14-year-old boy from Birmingham - or at least, someone he thought was a young boy.
As it turned out, the individual was actually an undercover police officer.
The former judicial candidate reportedly posted an online advertisement on an internet forum. He reportedly posted some 370 messages to the individual he believed was a young teen boy, though in reality, it was an officer with the state's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
He was arrested first on the state charges after he allegedly arrived at a predetermined location expecting to meet the boy in person. Instead, he was met by state police officers.
As part of the investigation, officers then searched his home and office, finding evidence of child pornography, as well as marijuana, a scale, pipes with residue and rolling papers.
He was then released on bond and re-arrested by U.S. Marshals on federal criminal charges related to the exact same incident involving his communications with the "boy."
While many cases involve either state or federal charges in a single case, it's not unheard of that someone would be facing both.
18 U.S.C. 2252A holds that possession or receipt of child pornography carries a penalty of between 5 to 20 years - for each charge. 18 U.S.C. 2251 holds that sexual enticement of a child is a felony that carries a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Appealing cases like this are very difficult because you almost always end up arguing issues of law, rather than issues of fact. Those are tough points to make. So your absolute best chance of holding onto your freedom is to fight vigorously not to be convicted in the first place.
The defendant in this case had been set to run for County Circuit Court judge in Jefferson as the Republican candidate against the Democratic incumbent. The defendant's party removed him from the ballot following his initial arrest.
He had also run a previous unsuccessful local judicial campaign in 2010.Continue Reading...