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Last year, I wrote briefly about the Dr. Kent case.

I made the point that this statement was absolutely false:

Under questioning by Kent’s attorney, D. James O’Neil, Investigator Barry Friedman said he had found evidence of some viruses, so-called “trojans” and other unwanted software on Kent’s computer when he analyzed its hard drive at the state police Forensic Investigation Center in Albany. The placement of a “trojan” on a computer makes it easier for other kinds of potentially harmful viruses to find ways to attach themselves to a computer, Friedman explained.

Under questioning by Senior Assistant District Attorney Marjorie Smith, however, Friedman said none of the viruses or “trojans” he found on Kent’s computer would have enabled someone to download, sort or file the more than 60,000 images of children in provocative poses discovered on the computer.

“No known virus is capable of doing those things,” Friedman testified. [emphasis mine]

I just got this update from his brother-in-law:

As a post-script, Dr. Kent was convicted, and just last week his appeal was denied. The appeal included what NY Law Journal characterizes as “first impression” that images from a browser cache may be used as evidence of child pornography. (The article is behind a paywall, here.)

Although the article gets a number of things factually incorrect (and warps many others…), it does correctly express that Dr. Kent declined to pursue a research project involving child pornography several years ago – and attempted to remove illegal items from his hard drive. It does correctly express that the forensic evidence was obtained from a copy-forward image from a previous hard drive, and that none of the items in question were ‘in current use’.

The full text of the appeals decision is (freely) available here.

For other background, please see: (and accounts of his life in prison here).

Alex Eckelberry