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Jury Acquits Attorney Leo Flynn On Child Porn Charges

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on December 28, 2010 5:51 AM

After six hours of deliberation, a South Dakota jury found attorney Leo Flynn not guilty on child pornography charges. The 62-year-old lawyer was known to take on sex offenders as a main part of his practice and according to the defense, that is how an innocent man got caught up in a child exploitation and porn investigation.

Leo Flynn was charged with two counts of distribution and one count each for receipt, possession and access with intent to view child pornography, reports the Argus Leader. Flynn's defense team convinced the jury that Flynn had a professional, not a personal interest in the images which he viewed in order to advise clients. Evidence against Flynn was found in 2009, when area Internet Crimes Against Children detectives downloaded videos from Flynn's computer using the file-sharing software Limewire. Flynn later said he was not aware that Limewire would automatically share files.

A major element of the defense case was the exemption from South Dakota child exploitation laws that protects certain professionals (such as lawyers, police, psychiatrists and social workers) during execution of their "official duties." Flynn's team argued that the defendant did not fit the profile of someone interested in child pornography because he only viewed the images at work reports the ABA Law Journal. Limiting his viewing to a work computer likely also bolstered the defense's argument Flynn looked at the material in the course of his "official duties."

Flynn would not reveal the names of the clients he was helping, citing attorney-client privilege.

The prosecution argued that under stress, the truth came out. At trial, the prosecution quoted Flynn as saying "my life is over" when initially confronted by detectives on the case, reported the Journal. The defense said it was sheer sarcasm.

Leo Flynn, the man friends called the "perv attorney" thanks to his sex offender clients, says he is ready to go back to work with an even stronger belief in the justice system, reports the Leader

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