Sophont
Saturday, July 03, 2004
 
Ex-prosecutor now toppling porn cases
cleveland.com: "'Dean has gone to the Dark Side,' Mason said. 'Most of the lawyers who leave this office go to large firms or into private practice where they make a lot of money. They don't usually go out to become expert witnesses in child-porn cases.'

To Mason's regret, Boland 'has created a cottage industry as a kiddie-porn expert,' he said. 'God bless the entrepreneur, but now his work is starting to affect law and order.'

Boland has teamed with criminal defense lawyers who are exploiting a provision of Ohio law that says to obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must prove that a digital portrait of suspected child pornography is, in fact, a picture of a child. To meet that requirement, the image must be authenticated as a child and not an adult digitally enhanced to look like a child - an extremely difficult level of proof for police and prosecutors, Boland says.

Without the evidence to refute Boland's testimony and prove authenticity, judges threw out child-pornography charges in Summit and Portage counties in March. A Columbiana County judge has reserved his ruling until trial.

The prospect of witnessing a wholesale dismissal of child-pornography cases has prosecutors and police distressed.

'People from the prosecutor's office have called to warn me: 'Dean, watch your back. They don't like what you're doing with digital imaging,' ' Boland said. 'I'm telling the truth and they don't like it. They want me to shut up. I've been in hypersensitive siege mode ever since I got threatened with arrest in Oklahoma.'

Boland, a married father of three and a self-styled conservative, resents being portrayed as 'the child-porn guy' by former colleagues.

'It's easy to demonize me,' he said, 'but from my perspective, I'm not out there testifying about child porn. I'm testifying about the technology of digital imaging.'"

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