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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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The Public Library Is Not A Good Place To Browse Pornography

Doing things that are illegal, such as committing a sex offense, while in a public place is a surefire way to get yourself arrested. Brandon Helms of Union County was recently arrested on charges that he was viewing child pornography from one of the public computers at his local library.

Another patron reported seeing questionable images on the Helms' screen to a library staffer. That staffer then remotely accessed the computer that Helms was using and took screenshots of the content he was viewing. Police who were called to the library described the screenshots as containing pictures of girls under the age of 12 in pornographic displays.

Helms now faces three counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a felony offense, however, upon conviction, it does not require a prison sentence. Instead, offenders may face community punishment (a non-active sentence) if he or she does not have a prior criminal history.

It is likely that Helms will need a solid criminal defense strategy to avoid jail time for the child porn charges, if possible. According to news reports, Helms just got out of prison in February for a sentence he was serving on assault charges. Although he has no past sex offenses on his rap sheet, he has a long criminal history.

The State Bureau of Investigation seized the computer Helms was using at the public library and is analyzing it for more evidence of the viewing of child pornography.

Source: WSOCTV, "Police: Union Co. man caught browsing child pornography at public library," June 12, 2013

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