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Monthly Archive: February 2012

February 29, 2012

Pennsylvania Spousal Privilege Against Testifying Applies Even to a “Collusive Marriage”

A jury convicted Appellant Lewis of tampering with public records or information, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4911. Ms. Lewis had worked as a Probation Officer for the Lebanon County Office of Adult Probation. In August 2007, Appellant started supervising the probation of Jeffrey Gardner, who was on electronic monitoring. In December 2007, while Appellant was supervising Mr. Gardneŕs probation, they began an intimate relationship and made plans to travel together to Atlantic City during the weekend of February 17, 2008. On February 12, 2008, Appellant released Mr. Gardner from electronic monitoring,...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

February 22, 2012

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Rules that Prosecution Cannot Use a Defendant’s Silence to Prove That He is Guilty of Murder

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed a Defendant’s homicide conviction in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Michael Molina, Appellant. Molina appealed from the judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division (Pennsylvania), following his conviction for murder in the third degree and unlawful restraint. The victim in the case was a woman named Melissa Snodgrass. On appeal, Molina raised one issue for review. He contended that the trial court committed reversible error when it permitted the Commonwealth, over objection, to...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

February 21, 2012

Coach who Taped His Female Wrestlers Weighing In on a Scale Is Guilty of Attempted Sexual Exploitation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit decided the case of United States of America, Appellant, v. Scott Johnson, Appellee, an appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. A jury had found Scott Johnson guilty of eight counts of attempted sexual exploitation of children, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251, after he secretly videotaped minor girls weighing themselves in the nude. Johnson was their wrestling coach. However, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted Johnson’s motion for judgment...

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Posted in: Uncategorized

February 20, 2012

Defendant’s Child Pornography Conviction Overturned Where Other People Had Equal Access to the Computer Used to Download the Pornography

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reversed a child pornography conviction in United States of America v. Keith Moreland. At the trial of this case, the prosecutor introduced 112 digital images of alleged child pornography that a local police officer found on two home computers owned by Keith Moreland and his wife Dianna. Because Keith’s father, George Moreland, was terminally ill and required assisted living, he resided...

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Posted in: Internet Crime