Pornado victim faces 40 years



Julie Amero, a 40-year-old substitute teacher from Connecticut is facing up to 40 years in prison for exposing her seventh grade class to a cascade of pornographic imagery. Amero maintains that she is a victim of a malicious software infestation that caused her computer to spawn porn uncontrollably.

[snip]

Detective Mark Lounsbury, a computer crimes officer at the Norwich Police Department testified as an expert witness for the prosecution. He maintained that Amero was intentionally surfing for pornography while her seventh grade class busied itself with language arts.

Lounsbury told the court that Amero musts have “physically clicked” on pornographic links during class time in order to unleash the pornographic pictures. However, he admitted under cross-examination that the prosecution never even checked the computer for malware.

Why didn’t the police check for malicious software? According to prosecutor David Smith, the police didn’t check for malware because the defense didn’t raise the possibility of a malware attack during the pretrial phase, as required by law. Defense attorney Cocheo could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Herb Horner, the proprietor of the consulting firm Contemporary Computing Consultants, testified as an expert witness for the defense. His exhaustive independent forensic analysis of Amero’s hard drive showed that the machine had been infected with multiple pieces of malicious software before she arrived at the school, and that these hidden programs were responsible for the pornographic deluge.

[snip]

On Jan. 5, 2007, a Norwich jury found Amero guilty of four felony counts of “injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children.” Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and while it is unlikely that Amero will receive the maximum penalty, incarceration remains a very real possibility. Even if Amero avoids jail, she will be stripped of her teaching credentials unless the convictions are reversed.

News of the guilty verdict sparked widespread outrage, particularly in the IT community. How could a 40-year-old woman with no prior criminal record be facing such serious charges over a few pop-up ads?

You can read the whole story here: http://www.alternet.org/rights/46925.

This case has been on my mind a lot this month. This woman is obviously the victim of malware and the whole situation is a terrible, awful tragedy.

She’s also the vicitm of a flawed justice system, a moronic jury, an inept police detective and an incompetent defense attorney. I cannot believe how buggered up this situation is on every level. It’s surreal.

I hope she starts a legal defense fund. Clearly she must appeal and fight for a mistrial.

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7 Responses to “Pornado victim faces 40 years”

  1. Callaghan says:

    Wow. Just…….wow.

  2. Anonymous says:

    not taking any side – there’s probably more going on than what’s mentioned in the news.

  3. […] Do you remember Julie Amero? She was the woman who faced up to 40 years in prison for exposing the children in her classroom to pornography. […]

  4. mpm says:

    @Anonymous who says: “not taking any side”
    Well you should. You should take Julie’s side.
    If you don’t, you’re just as moronic as the jury, the justice system and Mark Lounsbury. Especially Mark is moronic: he didn’t even check the computer, yet he lies in court that he knows what the teacher clicked. Mark should be fired and jailed for such false accusation. By far, such false accusation is much worse than being ignorant and don’t know how to turn of a computer screen quickly. Mark should be jailed, not Julie.
    And clearly, Mark is NOT a computer expert. I’ll bet it was a Windows PC. Windows is riddled with bugs and security problems and full of malware allowing holes. No network administrator can prevent all these bugs in Windows to get dangerous.
    The best solution would probably prohibit Microsoft Windows in classrooms.

  5. Anon says:

    What a repulsive thing to happen. It shames me to see an industrialized nation as big as America with such a shoddy Judicial system.

    I would demand appeal if I were in her shoes.

  6. lilydustbin says:

    It is repulsive and revolting. Here’s a good recap with a video interview:

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6739393&page=1

    She was convicted and then the conviction was over-turned.

  7. blip says:

    mpm is an idioooot and has either never used a windows PC or has and was retarded enough to infest the PC with viruses

    Yeah, this is bullshit, though. When I was in 7th grade I was getting myself caught up in pornadoes, like these 7th graders give a fuck. It’s all that christian taboo that’s floating around these days.