Accessing child pornography

Our client attended a workplace barbeque. Two of his co-workers, neither of whom liked our client, also attended the barbecue. The co-workers told their boss that while our client was showing them pictures of his ex-girlfriend, a video of child pornography “popped up” on his phone and that he told them the video had come from Facebook. The police were called by management.


Our client was charged with accessing child pornography. During his police interview, our client maintained that he did not intentionally access the child pornography videos on his phone, but that they were automatically loaded and started playing on his screen in the Facebook “news feed,” which is populated with content from other people. The police seized his cell phone and forensically examined it, but there was no child pornography ever found on his phone.


At trial, defence counsel cross-examined the co-workers and the investigator. The trial judge found that the co-workers were biased against our client, that they discussed their evidence with each other before trial, and that our client’s statement raised a reasonable doubt about whether he had intended to access the child pornography. As a result, the trial judge found that the prosecution had failed to prove that our client “knowingly” accessed the child pornography.


RESULT: Our client was found not guilty.