Defense pleads to dismiss charges in the Bowersox v. United States case.

Defense pleads to dismiss charges in the Bowersox v. United States case.

In Bowersox v. United States, the appellate pleads the court dismiss a child pornography charge when the pornography in his possession does not depict actual minors. The images in question appear to be sophisticated and life-like looking computer animations of minor children and adults engaging in sexual acts; however, it is uncontested that the images are not of actual minors and are merely computer-generated depictions.

The justice inequality, however, rests on the court's conclusion that although the petitioner did not possess pornographic material that contained actual minors, the depiction thereof is sufficient to rise to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1466A(b) when in a shared barracks room. The court notes that, contrary to the Stanley decision, the petitioner has no limited right to possession of obscene materials in a shared room. The court notes that the shared barracks room is a special area of maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and any possession of materials that appear to contain minors, even minors who all parties admit are entirely fictitious, is a violation.

While it's worth noting that Bowersox can hardly be considered a model soldier for his behavior, it's unlikely any officer would be charged with a similar crime when living in an unshared BOQ. It appears that the court is comfortable enough with the already significantly limited constitutional protections afforded to service members in shared quarters to permit this search and seizure without Constitutional concerns.

It's unclear, however, the constitutional strength of §1466A, as the 8th circuit has ruled that §1466A(a)(2) and (b)(2) are unconstitutional infringements on free speech.

Citations: Bowersox v. United States, Crim. App. No. 20100580, U.S.C.A.A.F.; United States v. Handley, 564 F. Supp. 2d 996 (S.D. Iowa 2008)

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