Computer- and Internet-based criminal investigations may involve a great deal of forensic-type analysis. In defending against Internet-based probes, a defense lawyer may need to evaluate technical information. Law enforcement may use forensic evaluators to dig through electronic information stored on an electronic device. In addition, there may often be allegations tied to electronic records obtained from Internet chat-rooms.
For example, Boone County authorities claim that a joint investigation conducted in Boone and St. Charles counties has led to the arrest of a man in St. Charles County on suspicion of furnishing pornography to a minor allegations. Cyber-crime units in each county reportedly were involved in the investigation. Authorities raided the man’s home in St. Charles County in September and seized a computer.
Authorities accuse the 23-year-old man sending a 16-year-old girl in Columbia, Missouri, sexually explicit images of himself through electronic communications. Police claim that a man had found the images last year on the girl’s computer, leading to the criminal investigation.
Law enforcement believes that the man and the girl had communicated with each other over the Internet, using social media outlets, as well as communicating in chat-rooms. Officials served the 23-year-old with an order for protection in November. The man was formally charged with sending unlawful images to a minor on January 9.
The concept of “sexting” has garnered a great deal of attention in the media recently. States all across the country have been grappling with how to deal with so-called sexting issues when minors are allegedly involved—either as a sender or receiver of allegedly sexually explicit images.
In the recent Boone and St. Charles joint investigation, authorities arrested the 23-year-old Monday. He was processed at the St. Charles County Jail. The man was released pending future proceedings after posting $2,000 bond on Monday.
Source: Columbia Tribune, “Boone County prosecutor charges St. Charles man with furnishing pornography to child,” Alan Burdziak, Jan. 22, 2014