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New York Cyber-porn Conviction Upheld by Appeals Court
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The issue was a contentious one. On November 2010, Ramos, 60 was convicted by an Albany federal court on three counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. He was sentence to minimum 15-years prison.

Previously, Ramos had served 14 years for sexually assaulting two young girls while he had been working as a school bus driver. Upon being released on parole in 2003 he came back to normal life. In 2008, Ramos told parole officers that he had viewed child pornography on his computer. Federal authorities seized his computer and found 140 images of child pornography had been deleted from temporary internet files.

Ramos had argued “the mere viewing of child pornography stored in temporary internet files was not sufficient to sustain a conviction under the statute as it then existed.”

  
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However, on Monday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considered the issue of whether viewing forbidden images on the Internet constitutes knowingly receiving and possessing them. Judges Ralph Winter, Reena Raggi and Denny Chin held that the defendant “had some control over the images even without saving them” and thus he had been convicted correctly.

The ruling observed, “An individual who views images on the internet accepts them onto his computer, and he can still exercise dominion and control over them, even though they are in cache files.”

The judges noted that at the time of Ramos’ offense, the federal statute under which he had been convicted was still unmodified and it was unclear at the time that it was illegal to knowingly access images “with the intent to view.” However, in October 2008, the U.S. Congress had amended the law sufficiently to uphold the conviction.

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At the time of his arrest, Ramos was also found with a laptop containing forbidden images.

The case is USA v James Ramos, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 10-4802.





 

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