Although it may seem unlikely, it happens more frequently than you would think, someone is arrested, erroneously, for one crime and then, during the process of investigating, police find evidence of another crime. Take, for example, the story of a 60-year-old man from Roseville who was arrested in 2012 in conjunction with his granddaughter’s death. At the time, local law enforcement officials believed that the man had something to do with his daughter’s 2-year-old child’s body having been discovered in her own home. Eventually, the daughter was charged, and convicted, of neglecting and abusing her daughter.
The girl’s grandfather was exonerated of any wrongdoing in the case, but a search of his home turned up evidence of another kind, upwards of 3,000 images of pornography involving children were found on his computer and various compact discs in his possession. Now, he has been sentenced to a 7-year term in state prison for violating laws of child pornography. The man pled no contest in the case, even going so far as to warn police about the files.
In California, law enforcement representatives take charges involving child pornography quite seriously. According to California Penal Code 311.1-311.11, possessing, transporting, producing, duplicating, sending, advertising, or controlling pornographic images of children is illegal. Due to the fact that there are many different circumstances of this particular violation of the law, each crime is treated as unique by prosecutors. Most child pornography charges in California are considered ‘wobblers,’ meaning that prosecutors have discretion in determining whether individual cases will be treated as misdemeanors or felonies. Normally, misdemeanor child pornography charges mean up to $2,500 in fines and a 1-year stint in county jail. However, felony convictions of the same come with much higher penalties, up to 8 years in state prison and much higher fines, like that of $100,000. Sentencing is also dependent upon how many counts of child-pornography related charges there are against a particular client.