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Child porn trial moves into its second day Shawano man faces 114 counts

posted Feb 13, 2013, 6:37 AM by Lara K   [ updated Feb 13, 2013, 6:38 AM ]
Article By Tim Ryan
tryan@shawanoleader.com

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Comment by Lara K.
Only one question I have, if just viewing child porn re-victimizes the child in the film, then isn't everyone in that court room committing a felony by re-victimizing the child?  They use the argument continually about the repeated damage just the viewing does (even if the child is unaware of anyone watching it) to the victim each time anyone views the material.

It would appear that the court in this instance believes they are above the laws?  This is the double-speak that Orwell was talking about in the book 1984

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A Shawano man's trial on charges of possessing child pornography moved into its second day Tuesday, as a jury was shown graphic child porn videos for what may be the first time in Shawano County.

Damon J. Anker, 34, is charged in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court with 114 counts of child porn possession. His trial is expected to last through the week.

A TV monitor was strategically placed where it could be seen by the jury Tuesday afternoon, while not allowing courtroom spectators to view the material.

Jurors were given a thick volume detailing each of the counts against Anker, along with descriptions of the videos and images.

Detective Sgt. Gordon Kowaleski, who investigated the case, read each of the descriptions into the record, telling the jury that in many cases the children involved were known victims on file with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The descriptions included children, some as young as 9 years old, posing for nude photo shoots and having sexual acts performed on them.

It took all of Monday morning to impanel the jury, with some potential jurors dismissed after private discussions with the judge, prosecutor and defense counsel.

At least one juror was dismissed after telling the judge in open court that he did not feel he could render an impartial verdict given the subject matter of the case.

Anker's case may well be the first time a child porn prosecution has gone to a jury in Shawano County. Courthouse officials -- some of whom have been around since the late 1970s -- said they could not recall one that previously went to trial.

There have been a number of child porn cases in the county over the last two years that resulted in plea agreements.

The 14-member jury, including two alternates, made up of eight women and six men heard opening arguments in the case Monday afternoon.

"This is going to be difficult stuff to see," said Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney Greg Parker, who warned jurors about the graphic video and images they would have to view.

"The nature of the evidence is disturbing," he said.

Jurors will have to decide whether what they viewed Tuesday -- and will continue to see today -- is child porn, and they will have to conclude Anker knowingly possessed it to find him guilty.

Defense attorney Kevin Musolf, in his opening statement, told the jury that "knowingly" is the operative word in the case.

"When you search (the Internet) for pornography, you might very well get stuff you don't intend to have," Musolf said.

Musolf said Anker would testify in the case and explain how the child porn files might have been inadvertently downloaded while searching for legal pornography.

Musolf also said Anker was not the only person in the household with access to the computer.

However, Kowaleski testified Tuesday that the files found on Anker's computer were placed into folders created and named by the computer user, seemingly undercutting the defense argument that they were downloaded accidentally.

He also listed a number of Internet search terms often specifically used to find such material.

Shawano County investigators discovered an area IP address in September 2011 that was using an illicit file-sharing network known to trade in child porn. Using information subpoenaed from Frontier Communications, the address was tracked to Anker.

The jury had watched a video Monday of authorities executing a search warrant at Anker's home.

Each of the 114 child porn counts carries a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. However, the penalty could be enhanced in Anker's case by an additional six years for each count because of a previous felony conviction.

Anker is also charged with a felony count of being a registered sex offender intentionally photographing a minor without consent, which carries a maximum 3 1/2-year sentence and $10,000 fine.

Anker was found guilty in 2000 of three counts of possessing child pornography, according to court records. A fourth count of child sexploitation was dismissed under a plea agreement. He was released from prison in October 2006.

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