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Man Who Printed Child Porn at Local Library Loses Appeal

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 22, 2016 6:58 AM

A Kansas City man who printed child porn at his local library lost a challenge to his conviction in the Eighth Circuit last week. Donald Paris was nabbed after librarians discovered him printing out emails from other child pornographers.

Those emails led to an investigation that showed he'd also printed child porn at the library and taken pornographic images of his young nephew, leading to his eventual conviction for producing child porn.

Production of Child Porn, but No Product

Paris claimed that the lack of photos of his nephew meant there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. No photos means no evidence that the pictures Paris took contained a "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area," as required by federal child pornography laws.

The Eighth Circuit, however, wasn't swayed, noting that the absence of images isn't insufficient to support a conviction for producing child pornography. Paris's admissions, coupled with the surrounding circumstances, were sufficient to support the verdict. First, Paris had admitted to taking the photos. Second, Paris had also destroyed the photos, the camera, his phone, a memory card, and "any trace of the images" in an attempt to cover his tracks. And then there was the fact that Paris sent the images to another child pornographer "with whom he communicated about child pornography only."

Those facts, coupled with Paris's child porn collection, admission of child molestation, and advertisements for boy models on Craigslist were more than enough for the Eighth Circuit.

Zooming In (to Jail)

Paris also objected to the prosecutor's characterization of the photographing during closing arguments. The prosecutor said that Paris chose "to pull that phone out of his pocket, told him to lift up his shirt, pull the pants down, and zoom in." But, as Paris's attorney objected, there was no evidence that Paris "zoomed in."

The zoom comment, Paris argued, made the action seem lascivious when it was not. Again, the Eight Circuit was unmoved. "Zoom" very well could have meant "only that the focus and frame of the pictures that Paris produced were his nephew's pubic region," the court reasoned. And regardless of whether Paris used the zoom function or not, the effect of the comment "could have been only slight at best."

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