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Defendant claims feds use porn charges to compel cooperation

Posted By: On behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney At Law // On:

On behalf of J. Kevin Stockstill, Attorney At Law posted on Friday, February 3, 2017.

Pornography allegations can be one of the most destructive criminal charges that the government can make. Even if the defendant is ultimately exonerated, the stigma of the charges often remains as a permanent blot on his (or her) life. A pending case in federal court in Baton Rouge shows how the power of internet pornography charges has been allegedly used by prosecutors to compel the defendant to cooperate in another investigation.

The defendant, an attorney and former lobbyist, was asked by federal prosecutors to cooperate with them in the investigation of public corruption by officials of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and its former director. Shortly after the lawyer refused to cooperate in the investigation, he was indicted on federal charges of using the internet to distribute graphic photographs of various acts of child bestiality. According to federal investigators, the defendant allegedly distributed child pornography on 33 separate occasions to 38 different people. The pornography investigation was pending but no indictment had been requested when federal investigators learned of the lawyer's work on behalf of clients before the ATC.

The defendant's lawyers have requested the district judge to dismiss the case because of the prosecutors' improper motives in seeking the indictment. His lawyers argue that the child pornography prosecution was a form of extortion that was intended to force the defendant to testify in the corruption case. The prosecutors have denied the accusation of improper motive in bringing the pornography case. In written memoranda submitted to the court, both sides deny the accuracy and credibility of the opposition's allegations. The judge has not yet ruled on the motion to dismiss.

This case shows how a criminal investigation can easily become unexpectedly complicated. Anyone who is involved in such an investigation, whether as a possible defendant or merely as a witness, may wish to consult a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending federal crimes. Such a consultation can identify potential criminal charges, evaluate possible defense strategies and provide an estimate of the likelihood of avoiding prosecution.

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, "More to story than Christopher Young allegedly distributing child porn, ex-Jefferson Parish president's brother argues," Joe Gyan, Jr., Dec. 26, 2016

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