Orange County Criminal Defense

Child Porn Found on Doctor’s Computer

Dr. Pete Thomas, 58, a foot doctor in Santa Ana, was arrested this past Tuesday by means of a warrant accusing him of having more than 1,000 child pornography images on his computer.  The pornographic images were uncovered this past October by a computer technician who was servicing the company computers.

After following the technician’s lead, detectives obtained a search warrant, confiscated the Dr. Thomas’ computer, and sent the materials over to the FBI forensics lab.  It was at the lab where investigators discovered over 1,000 images of children “involved in sex acts with other kids and adults” ranging from 7 years old to “early teenage years.”

It is notable to observe that as of “Right now, there is no evidence that he’s had any personal contact with the children in the photographs,” Bertagna added.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said, the Doctor of Coastline Podiatry was booked into the Santa Ana jail and then released on $50,000 bail.

For the full story click here.

Dr. Thomas will most likely be charged with a felony violation of Penal Code 311.11(a) — possession of child pornography.  Penal Code section 311.11 states:

(a) Every person who knowingly possesses or controls any matter, representation of information, date, or image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer generated equipment or any other computer-generated image that contains or incorporates in any matter, any film or filmstrip, the production of which involves the use of a  person under the age of 18 years, knowing that the matter depicts a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 311.4 is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or a county jail for up to one year, or by a fine not exceeding $2500, or both the fine and imprisonment.

In addition to the imprisonment and fines, a conviction of Penal Code section 311.11(a) requires lifetime registration as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290.  Penal Code section 311.11(a) is a wobbler, which means that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.  However with 1000 images on his computer, Dr. Thomas will most likely be charged with felony possession of child pornography.    Furthermore, Penal Code section 311.11(a) is not subject to the provisions of Penal Code section 1170(h).  That means, if Dr. Thomas is sentenced to prison, he will do his time in a state prison as opposed to county jail.

Visit our website to find more information about child pornography.

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