Tustin, CA, December 10, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- A middle-school teacher who had been arrested on charges of alleged possession of child pornography in July 2013 on a school-issued laptop computer has been dismissed of the charges. John D. McGinty denied ever searching for, viewing, downloading or possessing child pornography, and this week after a year and a half ordeal, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office dropped the charge, which could have resulted in a prison sentence and a lifetime sex offender registration.
McGinty, an outstanding teacher with no prior criminal record, plead no contest to eight misdemeanor charges relating to possessing and viewing adult pornography on a school-issued computer and was given a sentence of four years probation and 100 days in a weekender/work release program. At issue in the case were 22 suspected child pornographic photos found in the thumbnail cache of the computer. However, these images were impossible to view without specific software that was not present on the laptop computer.
McGinty had used the laptop for more than two years, but other teachers and personnel in the Adelanto School District in Victorville had access to the laptop computer before that time. McGinty had turned over the laptop to the school district at the end of the 2012-13 school year as part of an annual inventory accounting.
After the Adelanto School District officials discovered the images, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office filed a single Felony charge of possession of Child Pornography against McGinty, which led to police arresting the teacher at his home in front of wife and children and searching his residence for any and all indications of child pornography possession. The police seized several computers, laptops, storage devices and DVD/CDs. After an extensive forensic search/analysis of all of those items found in his home, no evidence or indication of child pornography was found.
McGinty’s attorney David R. Cohn, a partner at the law firm Wallin & Klarich, said there were “no images, no videos, no photos, no files, no websites, no search history, no key search terms related to child pornography on any of the devices found in his home,” which he said is a rare occurrence in an alleged child pornography case.
Cohn, said his client was “huge into adult pornography, but was never interested in children and never searched for child pornography.” San Bernardino Country Sheriff’s Detective Bill Swan, an expert with the department’s high-tech division, testified at a preliminary hearing in March 2014 that the child photographs were found in the laptop’s thumbnail cache, but were impossible for McGinty to view. He testified that while there were images of child pornography in the thumbnail cache it was not known when the images were downloaded, in what form, or by whom.
“I have been working with the San Bernardino DA over the past year to get this felony complaint of child pornography dropped,” said Cohn. McGinty has been on non-paid administrative leave from Donald F. Bradach Elementary and Middle School Academy since shortly after his arrest. At this time, Cohn said his client was uncertain about returning to teaching, even if reinstated.
About Wallin & Klarich:
Wallin & Klarich, A Law Corporation has established itself as a premier criminal defense and family law firm in Southern California by successfully representing families in their time of legal need. The firm believes that every person is entitled to the highest quality legal assistance and commits to aggressively defending its clients. For more information, visit www.wklaw.com or call Wallin & Klarich at (714) 466-5245.