Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Five Ways to Defend Against Charges of Possession of Child Pornography

A CyberTip received by the Massachusetts State Police led to the arrest of a level 2 sex offender who has been charged with possessing child sexual abuse imagery. The man has since been arraigned on both this charge as well as failure to register as a sex offender in connection with allegedly possessing multiple videos and images of children engaging in sexual acts. The man has been accused of living at a Westford home where he was not registered.  

Westford law enforcement began their investigation on December 3rd as a result of a Cybertip from the Internet Crimes Against Children Cyber Crime Unit. The tip claimed that child sex abuse imagery had been uploaded using a Kik Messenger account. The tip was issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and was connected to an IP address of a home located on Groton Road in Westford. After obtaining subpoenas, executing a search warrant, and conducting physical surveillance, an investigation revealed that the suspect had uploaded multiple images of “minor female victims” with his messenger account. 

Law enforcement ultimately identified the defendant at the residence and determined that he had been there for over a year despite being registered in Chelmsford. Consequently, the man was held on a $10,000 bail and instructed not to engage in any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18. The man also must check in with probation weekly if he posts bail and has been advised not to use either the internet or social media with limited exceptions.

If you or a loved one is facing possession of child pornography charges, it is easy to end up feeling overwhelmed about what you can do to pursue compensation. You should know, however, that there are several common strategies to respond to these charges. 

Unintentional Possession

This defense involves establishing that a person did not mean to have child pornography in his or her possession or that the material did not belong to the person facing charges. For example, child pornography files might be located on a computer that a person shares with others.

Accidental Possession

Sometimes, hackers or other adverse parties might maliciously place child pornography on a person’s computer or in that individual’s possession. Establishing that you are the victim of such a malicious act can provide a valid defense.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Law enforcement commonly commits Fourth Amendment violations. In this situation, even if you were looking at child pornography, your attorney can argue that the evidence was obtained as a result of the violation of your constitutional rights. 


Entrapment occurs when the police induce a person to commit a criminal offense that a person would not have committed otherwise. For example, the police might induce a person to purchase content that was not clearly child pornography and then arrest the person.

The Material is Not Child Pornography

Under Massachusetts law, child pornography has a specific definition. This means that the material must either show children naked or engaged in sexually explicit situations. If the content actually depicts non-minors, then that material cannot be classified as child porn.  

Let a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney Fight for You

Even if you are not convicted of the offense, sex crime charges in Massachusetts carry various repercussions including lasting stigma that can jeopardize a person’s career and social standing. To respond to these charges, one of the best things that you can do is obtain the assistance of a compassionate defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.