Attorney Gerson has charges dropped against client accused of sharing child pornography
My client was a college student in Pittsburgh who engaged in a peer-to-peer (P2P), social network to share videos containing images of child pornography. Several Pennsylvania State Police troopers based in Indiana County utilized special software to track known child pornography on the internet, and during their investigation determined that the videos were downloaded to a computer located in my client’s dorm room. Ultimately, my client was arrested and charged with six counts of Sexual Abuse of Children (Possession and Distribution of Images of Child Pornography), each a third degree felony. Significantly, the Criminal Complaint was filed in Indiana County, which was improper, since the alleged criminal acts occurred in Allegheny County. Initially, I did not object to the improper venue. However, when the case reached the Call of the Criminal Trial List, I presented an oral motion to transfer venue, which was granted by the presiding judge. As I anticipated, there was a significant delay in the transfer of the case from Indiana County to Allegheny County; and by the time my client’s case was scheduled for a Pre-Trial Conference, it was months beyond the required 365 days in which to bring him to trial. Consequently, I filed a motion seeking dismissal of all charges due to the violation of my client’s right to a prompt and speedy trial. The motion was granted by the trial judge and, consequently, the Commonwealth proceeded to withdraw all originally-filed charges in my client’s case. Ultimately, I filed a Petition to Expunge Records of Criminal Proceedings in both Indiana County and Allegheny County, each of which were granted, and there is no record of the filing of criminal charges, the arrest of my client, or the subsequent scheduling of the various proceedings in either county.