Criminal Justice

Lawyer Who Destroyed Evidence Spared Jail Time

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A Connecticut lawyer who destroyed a laptop containing evidence of child pornography was spared jail time today.

Philip Russell instead will serve six months of home confinement, pay a $25,000 fine and do 240 hours of community service, the Associated Press reports.

Russell admitted in September that he knew the laptop contained evidence of a felony, but didn’t report it.

Initially, Russell was accused of obstructing justice under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which only requires a showing that an investigation was foreseeable rather than pending. Russell had said he destroyed the laptop, but didn’t anticipate an investigation.

At the time, Russell was representing Christ Church in Greenwich. The church’s music director was convicted of possession of child pornography.

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