May 18, 2002


Child pornography case dismissed (SELENA RICKS, May 18, 2002, Portland Press Herald)
The U.S. attorney will not prosecute a child pornography possession charge against a Dresden man as a result of last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a portion of federal law that applies to computer-generated images of children.

Steven Guay was indicted in June 2001 on a charge of possessing child pornography in violation of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. His trial was scheduled to be held next month, but the case was dismissed by federal prosecutors on Thursday.

The dismissal was the first for a Maine child pornography case since the Supreme Court ruling last month. It is unclear whether more cases will be affected.

On April 16, the Supreme Court overturned a 1996 provision that had broadened the definition of child pornography to include not only minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, but also what "appears to be" minors. That included computer-generated images of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

As a result of the new ruling, federal prosecutors began reviewing pending cases, including Guay's.

"We decided that looking at the images Mr. Guay had on his computer, we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those images showed actual children," said Toby Dilworth, assistant U.S. attorney.

This was pretty predictable, but it's still horrifying. The Court has basically made it impossible to prosecute these cases against the worst predators in
our society. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 18, 2002 9:44 PM
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