Saturday, September 29, 2007
Destroying a computer with evidence of pornography can land you a conviction. A press release of the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut reports of a plea "to one count of misprision of a felony" by an attorney who "admitted that he was aware that an individual had committed a child pornography crime, yet he failed to report it to authorities." The release notes that he "then concealed the crime by destroying a laptop computer containing the child pornography."
The attorney was acting as attorney to a church. According to the press release, the attorney told the individual with the improper items on the computer that "this is serious business,” “this is a federal crime that carries a minimum of five years in jail,” and “you need a lawyer.” The attorney for the church then "destroyed and concealed ... [the] laptop." This attorney then "failed to report to law enforcement that [the person he advised to secure legal counsel], who was not his client, had possessed child pornography."
At least the charge was not a SOX amendment charge (see here)
Every attorney who represents an entity of any type needs to be aware of this case. It is sad to see a criminal conviction being given to an attorney based upon these facts. Would a disciplinary violation have been a better resolution?
Information - Download Information.pdf
Plea Agreement - Download plea_agreement.pdf