On Jan. 10, 2012, police executed a search warrant at the home of a biochemistry instructor at the Cook Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Upon entering the home, police seized the man’s laptop computer and his university computer. They allegedly found videos containing child pornography on at least one of the computers. The exact quantity was not disclosed.
On December 11, the former instructor appeared in court to plead guilty to a second degree distribution of child pornography charge. The accused admitted that he made files containing child pornography available for other users to download via a peer-to-peer file sharing service.
The judge sentenced the man to four years of incarceration in a state prison. In addition, he will never again be permitted to hold a position in public employment.
When a person is accused of committing a crime, the state and federal constitutions provide certain protections to ensure that the person is treated fairly throughout the process. The district attorney and police are trained to get convictions, not to look out for the rights of criminal defendants. The district attorney also knows the system, which can be confusing and daunting to a layperson. For that reason, it may benefit a person accused of committing a crime to have an attorney on his or her side. An attorney can use knowledge of the system and the law to protect the rights of clients. That may include verifying the validity of a search warrant, seeking a basis for suppressing evidence or negotiating a favorable plea bargain. If necessary, an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide representation at trial and through appeal.
Source: New Jersey Today, “Former Rutgers Instructor Sentenced to Four Years on Child Porn Charge,” March 3, 2013