March 1, 2012
"A Legitimate Educational Or Scientific Pursuit"
More from the California Bar Journal:
[An attorney] was disbarred Oct. 28, 2011, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.
[The attoeney] was convicted in 2010 of possession of child pornography and possession of an assault weapon.
Following a search of his residence, law enforcement found child pornography stored on six separate pieces of media, including [his] desktop computer, two laptop computers, two zip disks, and a thumb drive. He had 450 images of prepubescent children, many engaged in explicit sexual acts, stored on various devices. [He] also used his check card intermittently to buy access to child porn websites.
According to the stipulation [he] said “he had an honest but mistaken belief that viewing child pornography constituted a legitimate educational or scientific pursuit, insofar as he was ‘psychologically and emotionally exploring and attempting to understand human malice and perverse acts of human cruelty, including but not limited to atrocities committed in war time, sometimes in an effort to understand and get to the root of his belief that he was possibly a victim of childhood abuse in order to overcome the effects of such abuse and experiences in Vietnam.’”
He was privately reproved in 1997. In mitigation, he presented extensive evidence of a variety of traumatic experiences.
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