Child Pornography Arrests Continue in Sarasota County

Attorney Peter D. Aiken
Sex Crimes Defense
Capital Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Peter D Aiken


Ever since the Feds shut down Craigslist Casual Encounters and there has been a shift in the types of sex crime investigations, particularly here in Sarasota, Northport and Bradenton.

Local law enforcement has shifted its focus from Internet sex stings to investigating and prosecuting child pornography. The sad truth is that transmission of child pornography could be stopped or at least reduced by 95% by simply blocking its transmission. We need more crime prevention, instead of imprisoning men for looking at pictures or videos.

The State attorney in Sarasota and Manatee has a policy of filing as many charges as possible and seeking as long a sentence as is allowed in child pornography. There is a mistaken belief that men who look at kiddie porn images go on to commit crimes against children. In almost every case here in Sarasota, the State Attorney files 40 counts of second degree felonies. That runs up the sentencing guidelines, and runs up the punishment to 20 to 50 years in prison, simply for looking at something on a computer. So far, the judges have gone along with this policy and have imposed incredibly harsh sentences that constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Many of the men arrested are mentally challenged or have some degree of autism. I have represented many autistic defendants and have found that most of the prosecutors simply do not understand this mental condition. The police for sure do not, and target the low hanging fruit, in making unnecessary and often cruel arrests.

Sadly, many criminal defense lawyers do not understand how to defend a person with Autism. Often, the person has not been formally diagnosed with autism and has been simply run through the education system as a “special needs” student. Everyone knew he has a problem but no one ever formally diagnosed it. Defending the mentally challenged person is a challenge itself.
Why not just stop child porn transmission? Law enforcement routinely gets reports from the Internet providers each and every time a child pornography image is sent or received. Each child porn image has a “fingerprint” called a “hash value”. Law enforcement knows the second it is sent. Why not just pass a law that blocks it instead of letting it go through?

Instead, the police identify the IP address and the computer “signature” and set about to prosecute rather than prevent. The police have a program that allows them to secretly target a person’s IP address and to secretly enter a person’s computer and download images. They can view and download the child pornography image at the exact moment the person is receiving it. The police may get the image even before the person sees it. The person may have never even seen it by the time they get arrested. All of this could be prevented

As a child pornography criminal defense lawyer I have tried to educate the State Attorney and the local judges as to the terrible inequities of the harsh policy presently being followed. It is my personal belief that many of the men who look at this stuff do so because of sexual abuse they suffered as a child. It is a treatable illness that needs treatment, not imprisonment.

Crime prevention is more important than crime detection and crime punishment. If you prevent it, you don’t need to detect it or prosecute it.

No one in Sarasota County law enforcement seems to understand that.

I welcome your comments and if you have questions about child pornography situations, give me a call at 941 366 3506

Child Pornography Crusade in Sarasota and Manatee

Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney

The Sarasota Sheriff’s office and the Sarasota State Attorney’s office have embarked on a zero tolerance crusade to apprehend and imprison for life anybody who looks and kiddie porn.

In Sarasota and Manatee County, the State Attorney is manipulating the sentencing guidelines by filing 40 second degree felonies in almost every child pornography case. The Courts, so far are going along with it, refusing to rectify this abuse of power by the prosecutor. People are getting 30 to 50 year sentences for simply looking at a video on the Internet. Is Sarasota county, a defendant will get more time for looking at a picture than actually committing a contact offense on a minor. The State attorney here will hit you with more time for child porn than homicide.

With a click of a mouse, a person can down load, sometimes accidently, dozens of videos or pictures in a matter of seconds. Many times the person has no idea what has come into his computer. In a micro second, the way the State interprets the law, a person can in their view, commit dozens of second degree felonies scoring them for life in prison. The State’s crusade is a misguided and mean spirited perversion of the law. What they do not realize is that most of the people who look at child porn do so because in their youth, they were victims of sexual abuse. They view the videos not through the eyes of some monster that preys on kids, but are reliving events from their childhood past. Viewing child pornography is an illness. All of this looks good and makes good press when the State attorney comes up for reelection but the reality is that is working a terribly unfair and terrible hardship on men who in their past were victims themselves.

The sad result is that the courts so far feel constrained to allow the State to manipulate the sentencing process, under the theory that their hands are tied, and they cannot vary from what is “guideline”.
It is a sad day when the prosecution controls the sentencing process and for all practical purposes the judicial discretion to impose a “fair and just” sentence is subverted.

The prosecutors have a terribly misguided belief that if a person looks at a video, they will go on to commit a crime on a child. All of the research shows just the opposite. I try to educate the public and warn men to never, no never, look at any video or still pic that can even remotely be a minor. No one should ever use a peer to peer file sharing program like Bit Torrent or Shareza for anything.
Some people accidently come across child porn while viewing adult porn. They mistakenly think that when they hit “delete”, it is deleted from their computer. It is not. The State’s forensic experts can “carve” and download even “deleted” images. The simple answer is, never, no never look at child porn, even out of curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat.

In Sarasota, curiosity can land you in prison for life.

The State’s crusade is doing more harm than good. They simply do not understand why some men go on to look at this stuff. The answer is treatment, not life in prison



Can law enforcement secretly search your computer for Child Porn?

Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney

They can, and they do! If a person uses a peer to peer file sharing programs like Bit Torrent or a similar program, law enforcement can, and will, search your computer without your knowledge.

There has been an explosion of child pornography cases, particularly here in Florida. Most of the cases involve a “secret” search of a person’s computer by specially modified law enforcement peer to peer programs like “Bit Torrent LE”
ICAC, a federally funded organization, maintains an “inventory” of known or suspected child porn images or videos, categorizing them by “hash values”. There is another law enforcement application that can track and identify any IP address that receives or transmits an image with a known hash value. Once that IP address is identified, local law enforcement uses their special application to tap into that person’s computer and extract files without their knowledge. That is then followed by a search warrant, a raid, and an interrogation. The search warrant in every instance comes not before but after the secret search. Law enforcement justifies this secret search as “consensual” claiming that if a person uses a file to file sharing program, “they have consented to share”.

I am challenging this “claim” in several of my current child porn cases and the legality is yet to be determined.

Defending child porn cases is a tough uphill battle. The prosecutors go after violators with a vengeance and here in Sarasota and Manatee County routinely file 40 counts, running the guidelines up to 30 years in prison. The challenge is educating the judges and getting people to understand what the police are really doing. The stigma of kiddie porn is such that some people feel the end justifies the means. It is only a matter of time until this practice is exposed and the illegal searches are found to be illegal by the Courts.

About: Attorney Peter D. Aiken

Law Enforcement Linking to Kiddie Porn?

Attorney Peter D. Aiken
Sex Crimes Defense

April 3 2018

About: Attorney Peter D. Aiken

In recent months there has been an increase in Child Pornography arrests.

There seems to be a common thread is some of those cases. Almost every one of the cases involves a peer to peer sharing program like Bit Torrent. Almost every case involves someone that clicked on a link telling them that they had to download a peer to peer program to proceed. Many people found themselves in a situation where unintentionally they “linked” to images or videos containing child porn. Even if they immediately deleted the unwarranted material, a secret law enforcement application had detected the fact they clicked on the link, and the law enforcement application secretly entered their computer and downloaded the material they were trying to delete. Is it is possible or likely that law enforcement agencies are intentionally luring people to click not on child pornography (which would be illegal) but instead tricking people into clicking on links to child pornography? Time will tell as these cases proceed through the courts.

If you have been arrested for possession of child pornography, be sure your criminal defense lawyer explores the possibility that law enforcement,with this entrapment technique, is actually creating a crime instead of detecting crime.
It would be so easy to stop child pornography. If there was legislation that made the “servers” liable for transmitting illegal known images, child porn could be reduced by ninety percent instantly. The FBI has a library of known hash value kiddie porn images. Just make it illegal for the Internet providers to allow those known images to be transmitted. If they can detect it and report it to ICAC, why not just prevent it. Instead the providers alert law enforcement and the images are traced to IP addresses. The simple answer is to stop the transmission to begin with.

Now that Craigslist and are tightening up on the “personal” ads (which they should have done years ago), the ICAC investigators are going to have to find a new way to entrap people. My prediction is that there is going to be a spike in child pornography prosecutions here in Florida. In Sarasota County many people face more time in State prison for looking at a video than actually committing a sex act. The best way to avoid prison is to not commit a crime. Do not let curiosity get the best of you. If you are on the Internet, and see a warning saying something like “the material you are about to see could be illegal”, do not proceed. Do not click on something out of curiosity. If you do, law enforcement will come into your computer. These are bait teaser links trying to get people to unintentionally commit a crime. As a sex crime lawyer I don’t want to see innocent people lured into doing something out of curiosity. Remember, “Curiosity killed the Cat”


Sexting and Child Pornography

Aiken O’Halloran and Foley
Experienced Child Pornography Criminal Defense
Sarasota 941-366-3506

There has been an explosion of prosecutions when it comes to child pornography. Is this a result of a generation of teenagers to whom “sexting” has become the norm. As far back as nine years ago, research indicated that 19% of teenagers were involved in sexting, that is sending sexually vivid and suggestive naked pics and videos. Those teenagers are now young adults and those same young adults are now being prosecuted and becoming lifelong registered sex offenders.
I have been handling child pornography cases for decades. The child porn defendant generally can be divided into two categories. One the one hand, there are defendants that focus on pre pubescent images, and on the other hand those that view teenage developing girls. Most psychologists agree that it is normal for the adult male to be attracted to young developing females. Many girls, 14, 15 and 16 are physically sexually developed and viewing them and becoming aroused is “normal”. It may be normal but under out current laws, it is illegal. Did you know that 19% of teenagers admit to sending and receiving sexually explicit images? If you have a teenage son or a son in early adulthood, chances are he has received sexually explicit images from an underage girl. When teenagers break up, it is not unusual for the “rejected” party to post some of the sexually explicit images on social media. This is called “revenge sex”. It is not limited to kids. Adults now more and more are doing it after a relationship falls apart

Teenagers, with smart phones, can make videos of themselves engaged in sex. Under our current laws, that is child pornography and consent is not a defense. Two fifteen year olds can film themselves having sex. They will not be prosecuted, generally because they are both underage. However, making the video is a crime and down the road if that video is discovered, it technically is child porn and a prosecution can result.
The laws treat child pornography incredibly harsh. Here is Sarasota County, the State Attorney takes an incredibly hard line and in most cases files forty second degree felonies where possible. That runs up the sentencing guidelines to twenty five years in State prison. A person will generally do more time for looking at pictures than actually having sex with a minor. Only a tiny percent of people who view child pornography go on to commit actual sex crimes. If a son or family member has been arrested for child pornography, they are probably sitting in jail on a super high bond. If you want to discuss the options, call for a free consultation


Call Peter D Aiken 941-366-3506

Major Child Pornography Arrests in Polk County

Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney

Sheriff Grady Judd was on television again announcing the arrest of sixteen men in the latest Polk County kiddie porn bust.

The details have not emerged but it is believed the Sheriff’s department ran a child pornography sting. All across Florida there has been a major crackdown on anyone possessing or distributing child pornography. The latest operation was labeled “Operation Guardians of Innocence”. Many of the men arrested were charged with multiple counts. The penalties are huge for possession and even worse for distribution. Under the Florida sentencing guidelines, the State Attorney can run the penalties through the roof simply by the way the case is filed.

In Sarasota, the prosecution has been filing 40 counts in each case running the sentencing guidelines up over the twenty year mark. Yes, a person can go to jail for decades for just looking at pictures. I have been fighting hard against what I call guideline manipulation. Many men charged with possession of child porn are getting sentences that are longer than if they actually molested a child. It is pretty bad when you can do more time for looking at a picture than actually doing the act.
In the sex stings, the police can often tempt men into sending “dick pics” to what they think are young girls.

The best way to not get charged with a crime is to not commit the crime. Never send a picture of your penis to anyone. Absolutely never send an inappropriate penis shot to anyone even remotely a minor.

The best policy is to never send one to anyone. Gay men are particularly at risk when it comes to sending or receiving illegal pics. The police undercover detective will go on a gay adult dating site like “Grinder”. After engaging another man in chat, they will casually mention that they are really a minor. If a “dick pic” is sent after that, the person sending the pic can and often is arrested for transmission of material harmful to a minor or solicitation of a minor. Never travel to meet a minor and demand proof of age for everyone.

Over the years as an experienced sex crime attorney I have handled many child pornography cases all over Florida. These cases can be defended but it takes a real knowledge of the Internet, computer transmissions and the tactics and techniques used by the police.

About: Attorney Peter D. Aiken

If you or a loved one have been arrested or are under investigation for possession of Child Pornography or sharing Child Pornography in Florida and need to talk, give me a call at 941 366 3506. My criminal defense offices are in Sarasota and Ft. Myers but we handle cases in multiple counties throughout Florida

Con los años yo he llevado muchos casos de pornografía infantil en la Florida. Estos casos se pueden defender pero se necesita un conocimiento real de la Internet, transmisiones de computadoras y las tácticas y técnicas utilizadas por la policía. Si usted o un ser querido ha sido detenido o está bajo investigación por posesión de pornografía infantil en la Florida y necesita hablar, llamame a 941 366 3506. Mis oficinas de defensa criminal están hubicados en Sarasota y Fort Myers pero manejamos casos de múltiples condados en la Florida.

Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890
Punta Gorda at 941 634 6009
Sarasota at 941 366 3506

Click the Website Links Below:

The Sex Offender Defender

Florida Child Pornography Lawyers

Sex Sting Lawyer

Child Pornography Sting Lawyer

Related Articles:

Operation Guardians of Innocence

Polk County detectives arrest more than 12 in undercover child porn sting


Child Pornography viewers not Pedophiles

Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney
There is a misconception that people who view child pornography go on to become child molesters.
The actual statistics do not support this hypothesis.  As a criminal defense attorney, I have defended countless cases in both the Federal Courts as well as the State Courts.  Over the years, I have found that most of the people who view kiddie porn do so in the privacy of their home and never go on to have contact with any minor.  People are shaped by their past and their childhood.  Many of the people who view this material at one time or another were at one time victims themselves of sex abuse.  There is a tremendous difference between men who look at prepubescent children and young teenage girls.  There is a world of difference between looking  at something and acting on it.  Let me make it clear.  I am not a proponent of child pornography.  It is unhealthy and against the law.  The answer though is not necessarily long prison sentences.
There is a world of difference between a contact sex crime and a non contact sex offense.
Unfortunately, now, you can get more time in prison for looking at a video than actually committing a contact sex offense.
In the last few weeks I have seen sentences for viewing child pornography in the 20 to 25 year range.  In that same period, I have seen cases where there is actual contact with an actual teenage girl (14) with a sentence of as low as four years.  The system is out of whack when it comes to child pornography prosecutions.  The system is out of whack when it comes to sex offender registration.  Under the current law, there is no difference between a person becoming a registered sex offender for looking at a video and actually molesting a child.  In Florida, we need reform of the sex offender registration laws.  If a loved one is charged in either Federal Court of the State Courts with either possession of child pornography or even worse, distribution of child pornography, be prepared for a long uphill legal battle.  They are handing out life sentences for looking at pictures.  I have been defending child porn cases now for thirty years. 
There are technical defenses. 
There may be a defect in the prosecution’s case. 
These cases are not hopeless. 
It takes tough lawyering  to get good results.  If you want to talk you can call my office in Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890 or in Sarasota at 941 366 3506

Under Investigation or Arrested for Child Pornography?

Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney

January 2017

If your house has been searched, your computer seized or you have been contacted by law enforcement, call Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal Child Pornography Defense Attorney immediately before you get arrested, charged or taken away.
Peter Aiken, a sex crime lawyer, has thirty years trial experience in defending State and Federal cases throughout Florida. As a former Federal Agent and Federal Prosecutor and veteran criminal defense lawyer he has aggressively defended kiddie porn cases for years.
Federal Child Pornography charges are serious will land you in Federal prison. The State has zero tolerance for child porn and aggressively prosecutes even minor offenses. Defending Child pornography prosecutions requires knowledge and experience of computers, the Internet, peer to peer programs, applications and an understanding of how the State investigates and prosecutes these types of sex crimes.
Not all criminal defense lawyers understand child pornography defense

You may have a good defense:

Were you entrapped?
Was your computer taken illegally?
Were you advised of your rights?
Can they prove it was you on the computer?
Did they trick you into a confession?
Is the search warrant valid?
Do you share your computer with others?
Was you Wi Fi illegally accessed by others?

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Federal Laws are horrible when it comes to child sex crimes. State prosecutors regularly run up the State sentencing guidelines by charging multiple offenses. The law is complicated and a successful defense requires experience, determination and aggressive action.
Call 941 366 3506 and talk with Peter Aiken about your case
Speak now with a real sex crime lawyer and not some referral service!

Sex Crime Arrests in Sarasota Every Week

Attorney Peter D Aiken State and Federal Child Pornography Defense Attorney 941-366-3506
Attorney Peter D Aiken
State and Federal
Child Pornography Defense Attorney

“Click Here” to learn more about Peter D. Aiken

If you follow the arrest reports here in Sarasota, you will see that almost once a week someone here gets arrested for some type of sex offense.

Sex crimes are not limited to the underprivileged, the ghetto or the uneducated.

Many of the people charged with possession of child pornography are well educated and articulate. In my opinion, viewing child pornography is a form of illness. The State attorney here in Sarasota has taken a scorched earth position when it comes to child pornography. The simple fact is that with the click of a mouse, a person can download hundreds of pornographic images of minors. The State Attorney here charges one second degree felony for each image. They intentionally run up the sentencing guidelines and the maximum penalties where men arrested for child porn face on average three centuries in prison and a minimum of thirty years in the Department of corrections.

This is just wrong.

Many of the men who look at this stuff were victims themselves in their childhood. Many have looked at it out of curiosity. The prosecutors have the misconception that if someone looks at child pornography, they go on to molest children. Every statistic demonstrates that this belief is simply untrue. True or not, the prosecutors have been convinced, and actually believe it, and go at these cases with a zealot type approach. The punishments being handed out are disproportionate to the crime. You can get more State prison time for simply looking at a picture than actually soliciting a minor on the Internet or traveling to meet a minor for sex. You will get more time for looking at a picture than in some cases manslaughter. You can cause a death and get less time than for looking at a picture.

As a sex crime lawyer handling cases all over the west coast of Florida I have been fighting and trying to convince the judges that the system is being manipulated and the guidelines artificially inflated to get long sentences.

In some cases there are legal defenses. Judge Riva was recently affirmed by the Second District Court of Appeal where she suppressed a confession. There has to be a limit on what the police are permitted to do. That is what makes us a free society. We live in times where many feel the police are not there to protect and serve but there to unfairly enforce the law. Thank God we still have juries and the presumption of innocence, although in sex cases, everyone is presumed guilty by the public. If you have questions or comments, call 941 366 3506

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