Trials & Litigation

Defendant Lawyer Tells Jury He Viewed Child Porn for Purpose of Providing Legal Advice

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A 62-year-old Sioux Falls lawyer being tried on child pornography charges is telling a federal district court jury in South Dakota that he viewed the illicit images in order to provide legal advice.

After at least two clients sought his advice on the subject, Leo Flynn told the jury yesterday, he began searching the Internet and the Limewire file-sharing site for hardcore child porn about once a week. His viewing habits didn’t fit the profile of an individual who possesses and distributes child porn, the defense argues, since he only viewed it on his work computer and didn’t compile a large library of downloaded material, reports the Argus Leader.

Another Argus Leader article provides further details about the legal standards and evidence at issue in the case, explaining that a state law immunizes lawyers, social workers and others working on child porn cases. However, federal law offers no such safe harbor and prosecutors argue that Flynn’s activities exceeded the scope of the state-law provision.

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