Case Results

Child pornography case dismissed in Cherokee County

State of Georgia v. J.R.

Our client was initially arrested in an internet sting operation and then the police discovered child pornography during a search of his computers.

The police were conducting the sting operation on a website called Skip the Games. They created a profile of a “girl” stating that she was 19 years old and it contained numerous pictures of a woman who appeared to be in her 30’s.

Our client and the officer exchanged 10-15 text messages over a 12-minute period where the two discussed having sex. After that, the “girl” sent a message that read, “What time and you are good with me being 14 right?”

Our client responded, “WTF. No. You are not serious.” He then said, “There’s no way you are 14 with a body like that.”

Our client also had a phone call with the “girl” where he spoke with an actual female detective who clearly appeared to be at least 30 years old.

Our client eventually agreed to meet the “girl” and was arrested. The officers then seized the vehicle he was driving and obtained a series of search warrants for the vehicle and then the computer and digital devices found inside. As a result of the searches of these devices, the officers discovered thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

Because of the glaring problems with the sting operation, we were able to negotiate a dismissal of those charges. We then focused our attention to the search warrants used to discover the child pornography.

The search warrant for the computers and digital devices was based on the officer’s vague statement in the search warrant affidavit that “It is known that child predators keep information stored on various electronic devices.” Other than this statement, there were no other facts in the affidavit establishing probable cause that these devices would contain evidence of any crime, let alone child pornography.

We filed a motion to suppress the evidence from the computer search, pointing out that it has been held in Georgia, as well as most other jurisdictions, that just because someone is arrested for a sex offense involving a child, it does not then mean that there is probable cause to believe that the person is also in possession of child pornography.

The Court then granted our motion and suppressed all of the evidence found on our client’s computers. As a result, the child pornography charges against our client were dismissed.

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