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Lawyer Who Created Digital Child Porn Must Pay $300K

Written on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 by Kimberly DelMonico
Filed under: ExpertWitness

An Ohio lawyer who did expert witness work on behalf of accused child pornographers is now liable for $300,000 to the women whose childhood photos he used to create fake child pornography.

The Expert Witness Work

Jack Boland of Broadview Heights, Ohio, who was formerly known as Dean Boland, once served as an expert witness on behalf of accused child pornographers. As part of his preparation for the trial, Boland took images of girls from stock photography books and digitally manipulated those photos into pornography. Specifically, he removed a doughnut from a photo and replaced it with a penis.  Boland used the photos as a “before” and “after” demonstration for the jury.

He used these images as part of his testimony that innocent photographs could be manipulated and argued that the defendant may not have knowingly viewed or possessed child pornography.  Boland was attempting to show that overbroad laws against child pornography could entrap a defendant who didn’t know if the images were real or fake.

Boland’s Trials

In 2007, guardians of the girls whose images Boland used sued him in federal court.  He was charged under the federal law that prohibits the possession of images “created, adapted, or modified” to depict identifiable minors in explicit sexual conduct. Boland argued that he had a constitutional right to do what he did. He argued that the children hadn’t been hurt been the images that were only shown in court and never electronically circulated.

The court disagreed. The girls were awarded $150,000 each in October 2011. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster wrote, “The court concludes that a constitutionally effective defense to a child pornography charge does not include the right to victimize additional minors by creating new child pornography in the course of preparing and presenting a defense.”

Boland appealed to the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit upheld the lower court’s verdict, reasoning that the $300,000 in damages under the federal child pornography law is comparable to the damage that is done by defamation. In both cases, injury to reputation and emotional well-being results.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote, “When he created morphed images, he intended to help criminal defendants, not harm innocent children…Yet his actions did harm children, and Congress has shown that it means business in addressing this problem by creating sizable damages awards for victims of this conduct.”

Boland avoided federal prosecution by admitting to creating and possessing child pornography and apologizing in the Cleveland Bar Journal.

In 2016, Boland filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy judge ruled that the judgments could be discharged in bankruptcy because there was no evidence that he had intended to harm the children whose photos were used.

The bankruptcy appellate panel disagreed, ruling that Boland is still liable for the $300,000. It wrote, “In this case, the evidence from the trial unquestionably established that Boland, of all individuals, fully understood that his intentional creation, possession and use of the morphed pornographic images of the children invaded the children’s interests in their privacy and reputation.”

“As a lawyer and expert witness in the field of criminal defense in child pornography cases, Boland was aware that the use of identifiable real children in pornographic images was proscribed. … It similarly follows that based on his expertise, Boland was aware of the harms inherent in violating child pornography laws.”

About Kimberly DelMonico

Kimberly DelMonico is a licensed attorney in New York and Nevada. She received her law degree from William S. Boyd School of Law at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her undergraduate degree from New York University, where she studied psychology and broadcast journalism.

About Kimberly DelMonico

Kimberly DelMonico is a licensed attorney in New York and Nevada. She received her law degree from William S. Boyd School of Law at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her undergraduate degree from New York University, where she studied psychology and broadcast journalism.

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