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Broward county man arrested on child pornography charges

July 20, 2010

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A Broward county man who spent time as a Boy Scout Volunteer was arrested by the Broward County Sheriff's Office for possession of child pornography. Possession of child pornography is not a crime commonly charged in Broward or Miami-Dade County, but when arrests are made, the cases garner a lot of media attention. Child pornography is defined under the Florida statutes as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. Anyone who intentionally possesses, sells, lends, gives away, transmits or shows images of any kind depicting minors engaged in sexual acts can and will be charged with a third degree felony by the state attorney's office. Keep in mind that each depiction will carry a separate charge. For example, a person possessing five images can be charged with five separate counts and is looking at 25 years as opposed to 5 years in state prison. If you are being investigated for or have been arrested under the child pornography statute, immediately seek legal advice from a qualified Miami criminal lawyer experienced in defending these types of cases.

Gary Morano, was arrested on 75 counts of possession of child pornography. He was booked into the Broward County Jail and appeared at bond hearing. The standard bond for possession of child pornography in Broward County is $10,000 for each count and subsequently the bond was set at $750,000. In order to secure his release, Morano can retain a criminal lawyer to request a bond reduction, pay the amount set forth by the court, or hire a bondsman to post the bail. A bondsman will require a 10% premium or $75,000 to secure his release. Do to the high amount of the bond, the bondsman may also require additional collateral in the event the defendant decides to flee the jurisdiction.

The Broward Sheriff's Office working in conjunction with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was able trace pornographic images back to a rental property owned by the defendant and his wife. The Task Force investigates sex offenses committed against children. Pursuant to a search warrant, detectives seized a computer belonging to the defendant which had images stored on the hard drive. The images depicted sexual acts of children between the ages of 6 and 10. According to the police report, the defendant was advised of his Miranda rights which he waived. The defendant told the police that he was the only one who had access to the computer and that he was aware that child pornography was stored on his computer.

In all cases where a person has been arrested, they have a constitutional right to refuse to speak to police officers or detectives and also have the right to counsel. In so many cases, the evidence collected by law enforcement is not enough to prosecute a case. In this case, the defendant would have had available many defenses to the charges. The police had no way to prove that the defendant downloaded the images, new they were present on the computer or even if the computer belonged to him. In this case, the defendant's statements divested him of many defenses and made the case harder for whichever criminal defense attorney represents him. As in so many previous blogs, always remember, never speak to police without speaking to a criminal lawyer first.

Boy Scout Volunteer Arrested on Child Porn Charges, The Sun, July 20, 2010.
Categories: Sex Offenses
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