New Trial for Julie Amero
June 7, 2007 12:40 PM   Subscribe

New Trial in pop-up porn case for Julie Amero (Previously and also)
posted by puddleglum (29 comments total)

 
Also found this blog which claims to link to her defense fund, and has posts allegedly written by her husband. Any idea if it's legit?

Anyway, good for her. This was a farce.
posted by puddleglum at 12:42 PM on June 7, 2007


I hope she has some kind of grounds to sue the pants off of someone.
posted by spicynuts at 12:43 PM on June 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


CMON PEOPLE ITS FOR THE CHILDREN I BET ALL HER SUPPORTERS ARE A BUNCH OF ACLU CHILD MOLESTERS EVERYBODY GET ON THE BANDWAGON WERE GONNA BURN US SOME WITCHES 9/11 NEVAR FORGET!!!!!!111!!1!11
posted by Avenger at 12:50 PM on June 7, 2007


I hope she has some kind of grounds to sue the pants off of someone.

yeah, in front of the whole class!
posted by quonsar at 12:51 PM on June 7, 2007 [4 favorites]


Good. But can someone please explain this to me:

Prosecutors argued Amero had actively caused the computer to display the images and argued her actions resulted in felony risk or injury to a minor. Court rules prevented Amero's defense team from presenting testimony that could have shown the computer was infected with malware that forced the computer to display pop-ups.

What?
posted by chlorus at 12:52 PM on June 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope she has some kind of grounds to sue the pants off of someone.

As do I.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:58 PM on June 7, 2007


Meanwhile, Paris Hilton walks.
posted by briank at 12:59 PM on June 7, 2007


That's the great thing about America. You can be put on trial for a crime that the prosecutor, judge, jury and even your public defender in that trial don't even understand.
posted by delmoi at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2007 [11 favorites]


Kind of ironically eponysterical?
posted by Clay201 at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2007


...Now that everyone involved knows what a computer is, why has the case not been dropped? Does the prosecutor not have enough to do?
posted by frobozz at 1:14 PM on June 7, 2007


I had forgotten about this case, so I was sorely disappointed when I realized that this post was not about NSFW pop-up books.

Anyways, thank ye gods. What a bunch of maroons.
posted by brundlefly at 1:48 PM on June 7, 2007


In related news -- Cyber ignorance is not bliss for those in the public eye.
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on June 7, 2007


I sorta hope she can and does sue, too, but if she does, the judgement will only cost the taxpayers money. It's a lose-lose for everyone, thanks to inept authorities.
posted by LordSludge at 1:55 PM on June 7, 2007


Court rules prevented Amero's defense team from presenting testimony that could have shown the computer was infected with malware that forced the computer to display pop-ups.

What?


Bears repeating.
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2007


chlorus, all that technical mumbo-jumbo would only be confusing to the jury and distracts from the main point - teh children's lives were destroyed when they saw porn, and somebody has to pay.
posted by 2sheets at 2:19 PM on June 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Court rules prevented Amero's defense team from presenting testimony that could have shown the computer was infected with malware that forced the computer to display pop-ups.
What?

I spent some time looking into this but got nowhere. My guess is the local rules of that court prohibited (or were interpreted to prohibit) the use of a computer exhibit. Or maybe the defense waited too long before attempting to introduce the evidence. These are mere guesses. I'm curious myself as to the real reason, in case anyone discovers it.

This case reminds me a little of the prosecution of the Duke lacrosse players.
posted by exogenous at 2:45 PM on June 7, 2007


chlorus and Dr-Baa, I saw this on Boing Boing and it may shed some light:

"Here's the astounding comments about the case from the defense's technical expert:
We asked the prosecution to arrange for the defense to have unfettered access to the internet so that we could reenact the events of October 19, 2004. It was not granted. I went to court with two laptops and a box full of reference material prepared to very clearly illustrate what happened to Julie Amero. But, the prosecution objected because they were not given "full disclosure" of my examination. I was allowed to illustrate two screens, that of the www.hair-styles.org , and www.new-hair-styles.com sites.

This was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career, knowing full well that the person is innocent and not being allowed to provide logical proof.
posted by mosk at 2:45 PM on June 7, 2007


This entire thing is absurd.

There could be a DNS registration problem or an ISP screw up where cnn.com redirected to tubgirl. Is the teacher supposed to be responsible for things like that?

What if the school's homepage was hacked, and it was set as the default for all the school's computers. Would the teacher be responsible then?

What if a kid brought in a thumbdrive with 2gb of porn pictures and made it into a screensaver with a password?

And on and on and on for at least 200 different possible scenarios.

It's like none of the people involved in this trial, certainly not the judge and the prosecutor, have used computers in the internet age.

The only way to prevent something like this from happening is to put all of the classroom computers on an intranet that is physically removed from access to the internet, and then block access to any removable media or interface slots.

And actually, suing the school district and/or county to hell and back would make a difference: it would make them less likely to pursue criminal charges against someone for something like this.

The DA that decided to pursue this needs to be removed from his job.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2007


chlorus, her evidence wasn't admitted because her lawyer screwed up. There were things he needed to do to allow the evidence to be admitted, and he didn't. See the older AlterNet story for a little more information.
posted by dilettante at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2007


IIRC it was the case that the defense did not introduce the information in a timely manner. If it isn't that specifically, it was a procedural problem, not a problem with admitting the evidence itself.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:49 PM on June 7, 2007


This was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career, knowing full well that the person is innocent and not being allowed to provide logical proof

...because he screwed up. But no matter, the prosecution never should have brought this case in the first place.
posted by grouse at 3:19 PM on June 7, 2007


One thing I've not been able to fathom in this case is what happened to make her experience unique. She was a substitute teacher who was logged into the computer by another teacher. Kids surf for a few minutes, then suddenly everything is porn city. If it's a case of malware or poorly configured security software, wouldn't it be likely to have happened before? What are the chances that an unprotected Windows system is going to resist assaults on its internet virginity until this poor woman happens to be in the room?
posted by forrest at 4:13 PM on June 7, 2007


I read somewhere that she was sentenced to 40 years. Is this true?

If so it really wouldn't surprise me, this really is the perfect storm of American moral panic.

"Pedophile teacher exposes helpless children to the permanent taint of intarweb pornography! Are children not safe in our SCHOOLS!?"
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:17 PM on June 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I read somewhere that she was sentenced to 40 years. Is this true?

That's the maximum sentence for the charges on which she was convicted in the first trial. She was supposed to have had a sentencing hearing in the last few weeks, but it was postponed at least once, suggesting behind-the-scenes activity -- in this case, the court pondering a retrial motion by the defense.

One thing I've not been able to fathom in this case is what happened to make her experience unique.

I don't think it was the pop-ups per se. It was pop-ups combined with an inexperienced user who didn't know how to get back on the system if she turned it off.

What are the chances that an unprotected Windows system is going to resist assaults on its internet virginity until this poor woman happens to be in the room?

According to the forensic examination by the defense expert, the machine was infected as much as a month earlier. It was the kids who were surfing for hairstyles, though, who went to the site with the malware.

Again, the regular teacher would have been able to easily log out and back in again. Her inexperience made her vulnerable to what happened. Not that she handled it the best way -- but she certainly wasn't a sex criminal.
posted by dhartung at 5:14 PM on June 7, 2007


Kids surf for a few minutes, then suddenly everything is porn city.

Well, of course. Kids misbehave, particularly with substitute teachers.

I think it's entirely possible one of them went to a malware site deliberately.
posted by Malor at 5:33 PM on June 7, 2007


"Court rules prevented Amero's defense team from presenting testimony that could have shown the computer was infected with malware that forced the computer to display pop-ups."

That's not all. The prosecution expert witness was:
a) A Java programmer
b) Database expert
c) Microsoft certified
d) IT professional
a) A web designer
e) A policeman

Did you guess e)?

Listen to him spout buzz words while unwittingly letting us know how little he knows about what he's talking about.
posted by eye of newt at 10:01 PM on June 7, 2007


(All right, all right my letters are not sequential. I updated and forgot to reletter).
posted by eye of newt at 10:05 PM on June 7, 2007


"This was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career, knowing full well that the person is innocent and not being allowed to provide logical proof."

...because he screwed up.


Er, more precisely because the lawyer he was working for screwed up.
posted by flug at 10:11 PM on June 7, 2007


A commenter at eye of newt's link claims that it's public knowledge that the prosecution's "computer expert" cop was suspended for drinking alcohol on duty, during an underage-alcohol sales sting operation, and offering the underage decoy girl drinks too.

So, lemme get this straight: if the allegation's true, the substitute teacher is facing 40 years for being in the same classroom as an inadequately administrated computer, and the guy helping to put her away got nothing more than a few days' suspension for trying to get a cute underage girl drunk while he was on duty?

Wow. Just wow.
posted by orthogonality at 12:48 AM on June 8, 2007


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