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Man’s second federal child-porn conviction sticks, 7th Circuit rules

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A man whose first federal child pornography conviction was reversed on appeal struck out in his second appearance before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after he was reconvicted of the same 16 counts.

Federal investigators in 2007 discovered an Internet bulletin board called “the Cache” that provided images and videos of child pornography to members around the world. The government alleged Roger Loughry was a site administrator whose online identity was “Mayor roger.” A federal jury convicted him of 12 charges of advertising child pornography, two counts of distribution of child porn and one count each of conspiracy to advertise and conspiracy to distribute the material.

At the first appeal, the 7th Circuit reversed his conviction because evidence was presented that depicted “hardcore” child porn seized from a search of Loughry’s home that was unlike that for which he was being prosecuted. The 7th Circuit ruled admission of such evidence was an abuse of discretion under Federal Rule of Evidence 403.

On retrial, federal prosecutors withheld that evidence and Loughry nonetheless was convicted on all 16 of the same counts before Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In his appeal, Loughry argued he was unfairly prejudiced when evidence seized from his home was supplied to jurors during deliberations.

“While there may be some special circumstances in which a district court would abuse its discretion by failing to exclude properly admitted evidence from the jury room on this basis, Loughry’s case does not fit the bill,” Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams wrote for the panel in USA v. Roger Loughry, 13-1385.

“The challenged exhibit was not unfairly prejudicial because the images and videos from Loughry’s personal collection were highly probative of his identity as the (I)nternet user ‘Mayor roger’ who advertised and distributed child pornography on a site called ‘the Cache.’ The similarities between Loughry’s own child pornography and that found on the Cache made Loughry’s personal collection highly probative and justified the court’s decision to allow jurors to inspect it during deliberations,” the panel ruled.

Loughry, 60, is serving his sentence in the Petersburg (Va.) Medium Security Federal Correctional Institution and is not eligible for release for 31 years.
 

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