Ohio Attorney Found Guilty of Creating Digitally Altered Images for Use in Court

An Ohio attorney and former state prosecutor who describes himself as a “computer expert” has been found guilty of creating fake child pornography images in an effort to defend people accused of child pornography in two separate court cases.

Dean Boland purchased two stock images and digitally altered them to appear sexually explicit.  On Friday the Sixth Circuit Court found Boland guilty after the FBI became aware of him and began investigating his court use of the faked, explicit images.  Boland had used the images to argue two cases in Ohio and Oklahoma, saying that it was “impossible for a person who did not participate in the creation of the image to know [the child is] an actual minor.”

In 2007, the parents of the children in question became aware of Boland’s activity and filed civil suits against him.  The Sixth Circuit Court found that he put “six-year-old Jane Doe’s face onto the body of a nude woman performing sexual acts with two men.”

The federal judge has awarded the families $300,000 in damages after Boland argued that he was immune from any civil law suits because he had only created the images for use in court, never distributed them beyond the court room, and was protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of expression provision.  The First Amendment actually doesn’t protect individuals from the use of obscene speech.

Frankly, I can’t believe this case dragged out as long as it did, given the cut-and-dry look of it.  Boland could have easily used  altered images of adults or virtual images, both of which would have fit within the law, but he instead chose to alter images of real children and now he has paid the price for his actions.

Image: Court Room by BigStock