A former official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
is facing a potential life sentence after a conviction for child pornography.
The man, age 56, has been living in Germantown, Maryland, before he was
tried in a Nebraska federal court. The man, who had been the acting director
of cyber security for the federal agency, was found guilty on three counts of
sex crimes after a jury trial.
The man was reportedly convicted of several serious charges, including
engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. That allegation alone could
carry up 20 years to life behind bars, according to the defense attorney
in the case. The man is slated to be sentenced in early November.
Investigators say that evidence presented during the trial indicated that
the man viewed and exchanged child pornography several times between March
and December 2012. The man reportedly used a specific website that has
since been shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The man
was also accused of sending messages to other site members, explaining
his fantasies about raping and murdering children.
The man’s defense attorney says that the case brought a number of
critical law enforcement topics to the forefront of public opinion. Those
include the right of the FBI to conduct searches of both the man’s
home and his computer. One of the contentious issues in the case: whether
those searches were legal in the first place.
Even those accused of sex crimes deserve fair treatment in the Maryland
court system. In this case, attorneys say it is possible that law enforcement
officers engaged in illegal search and seizure. Police and other investigators
are bound to abide by federal and state laws when conducting such searches,
in order to protect defendants’ rights.
Source: NBC Washington, “Former HHS Cyber Security Director Convicted on Child Pornography” Terence Mulcahy, Aug. 26, 2014