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State v. Wilson

Supreme Court of Maine

November 17, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
DANA WILSON

Argued: September 16, 2015

On the briefs:

Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., Drake Law, LLC, Auburn, for appellant Dana Wilson

R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney, and Tracy Collins, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District V, Bangor, for appellee State of Maine

At oral argument:

Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., for appellant Dana Wilson

Tracy Collins, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine Penobscot County Unified Criminal Docket docket number CR-2012-2515 For Clerk Reference Only

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

SAUFLEY, C.J.

[¶1] Dana Wilson was charged with and convicted of crimes arising out of his alleged illegal possession of sexually explicit digital material, specifically, digital images and videos depicting the sexual assault or exploitation of children. Asserting that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the convictions for two counts of possession of sexually explicit material (Class C and Class D) pursuant to the statute in effect at the time of the crimes, 17-A M.R.S. § 284(1) (2010), [1] Wilson challenges the judgment of conviction entered in the Unified Criminal Docket (Penobscot County, A. Murray, J.) following a bench trial. He argues that the court misinterpreted the meaning of "possesses" in finding that he had possessed sexually explicit material depicting a person under twelve years of age, id. § 284(1)(C), and a person under sixteen years of age, id. § 284(1)(A). We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] The following facts found by the trial court are supported by competent evidence in the record. See State v. Christian, 2012 ME 51, ¶¶ 7, 9-10, 40 A.3d 938. Between January 28, 2010, and September 5, 2010, law enforcement observed that sexually explicit material known to violate 17-A M.R.S. § 284(1)(A)(1) and (C)(1) was available to be shared with others through a peer-to-peer network using Wilson's IP address.[2] An ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) report was provided to local law enforcement officers, who went to the Wilson home and seized multiple computers on February 14, 2011.

[¶3] The computers underwent forensic evaluation in 2011. Evidence of images or videos depicting child sexual assault or exploitation was found on two Toshiba laptop computers (identified as the Z9 and the 99 computers), though no such evidence was found on the other seized computers-a Dell laptop and one or more desktop computers. Both of the Toshiba laptops had FrostWire software installed on them, which can be used in connection with downloading such images by allowing access to peer-to-peer networks.[3] Sexually explicit images or videos violating section 284(1)(A) and (C) were downloaded onto each of the Toshiba laptops one or more times using FrostWire.

[ΒΆ4] The keyword "PTHC, " which stands for pre-teen hard core, is commonly part of the title of a video depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. The forensic searches on the two Toshiba laptops produced multiple hits for PTHC. The court found that the term would not be found on the hard drives of the ...


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