Disney World Security Guard Accused Of Child Porn Possession
A child pornography investigation resulted in an unusual arrest in late January. Authorities arrested a 46-yea-rold retired Air Force veteran after claiming that they had found several illegal images on his home computer.
This case is bound to receive wide media attention because of the defendant's job: he worked as a security guard at Walt Disney World. Many observers will immediately jump to concerns that this man worked in a position of authority near children. For this defendant, regardless of the outcome of any criminal case, his future career prospects will likely suffer serious harm as a result of these child pornography allegations.
These facts might present another problem for this defendant and others in similar situations: it could be very difficult to find a jury that would not be unfairly prejudiced against him because of his job. Juries have a responsibility to convict defendants only for actual violations of the law. Unfortunately, many people find it hard to compartmentalize actual facts from other concerns about a defendant.
It is a criminal defense lawyer's job to do everything possible to keep the jury from wrongfully convicting a defendant. An effective strategy must look at everything from jury selection to careful arguments about what evidence will be most likely to unfairly influence the jury against the defendant. The law recognizes these risks and puts careful limits in place to keep juries from making illegal decisions - but it is often up to the defendant's legal counsel to actually keep them within the bounds of the law.
Source: KRIS TV, "Disney Guard Arrested in Child Porn Investigation," Jan. 31, 2013