Metro police chief could be forced to return child porn to suspect

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 6:52 AM

(KMOV) -- The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief believes his department will be distributing child pornography if they’re forced to follow a judge’s orders to hand over a computer they seized as evidence.

“I think it’s just wrong that we do an investigation, we find materials that we believe are child pornography and give it back to the offender,” said Chief Sam Dotson.

Last year, during an investigation, officers seized a computer from a suspect. They told News 4 they found at least three videos of child pornography.

Although the suspect hasn’t been cooperating with the investigation so far, he’s not been charged with any crime.

But a judge has told officers they must give the computer back to the suspect even though officers think it still has child pornography on it.

Chief Sam Dotson told News 4 he feels the court is basically forcing police to distribute child porn to the community.

“We are out trying to do a good job, trying to make cases, trying to prove and we don’t get any cooperation from the criminals and in this case, we didn’t get any cooperation from the courts,” said Chief Dotson.

We obtained the records ordering the police to return the computer.

The judge argues legally the suspect can get the computer back, because the police department hasn’t proved there’s child porn on it.

We spoke with the judge by phone who told us he can’t comment on pending cases. The computer is still with police currently.
 

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