A Bad Prosecution Refuses to Die
When we last checked in on Julie Amero, she was facing sentencing for "impairing the morals of a child and risking injury to a minor" by showing porn sites on the web to students in her seventh grade class. Amero's side of the story, which proved (albeit belatedly) to be convincing, is that the computer was infected with malware that kept popping up porn sites faster than she could close them. The state's "expert" testified that Amero must have deliberately accessed the porn, a false proposition that computer experts from across the nation derided after Amero was convicted.
The good news: "In June of 2007, [Superior Court Judge Hillary] Strackbein threw out the initial conviction and ordered a new trial." The bad news:
Unbelievably, more than 13 months after Strackbein set aside Amero's conviction on charges that she allowed seventh-graders to view pornography in her classroom, the state is apparently still planning to bring Amero back to trial.
Why? [more ...]
Perhaps overworked state prosecutors are too busy to file the paperwork to abandon the case. It's more likely that this is all an elaborate face-saving maneuver that must slowly unwind so that nobody will ever look bad.
There is no indication that state investigators are taking another look at the now discredited work done by the Norwich Police Department, which concluded that Amero was responsible for the storm of porn pop-up messages that took over her classroom computer on Oct. 19, 2004.
The truth is that Amero, nearly a computer illiterate, was a victim of malicious software that had taken over her PC, thanks to the school district's failure to update its technology. A team of computer security experts from around the country, drawn to the case by reports of Amero's conviction, proved without a doubt that Amero was a victim of "spyware" and the inability of anyone to take an objective look at the case.
Taking an objective look at the case is apparently beyond the ability of the Connecticut prosecutors who are handling it. Why haven't they done so? According to the state's attorney:
The Amero case "is not a high priority for us. We have other cases down here that are much more important."
Tell that to Julie Amero.
Amero's life continues to be the hell that began with her highly public arrest in November of 2004 on charges of risk of injury to a minor. At the time of her arrest, she was pregnant. She lost the baby.
Over the last year, I'm told, Amero has been hospitalized for stress and has lost at least one job because her employer didn't like her arrest record. She is on medication. So she waits, declining to speak publicly, for the state to do something.
It's time for this bogus prosecution to die so that Julie Amero can get her life back.
State prosecutors, faced with a case ruined by what Strackbein called "erroneous" testimony and "false information," should walk away now and seek dismissal of all charges against Amero.
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