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Iowa Supreme Court Rules on Internet Child Pornography Case

Lawyer, radio personality and law blogger George Davison has an interesting post on how the Iowa Supreme Court recently interpreted Iowa’s laws relating to sexual exploitation of a minor.

The case involves a Marshall County man, Randall Muhlenbruch, whose wife turned him into authorities after discovering child pornography on his computer. Prosecutors found 348 images of child pornography on Muhlenbruch’s computer and charged him with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Iowa Code section 728.12(3) states, in part:

3. It shall be unlawful to knowingly purchase or possess a
negative, slide, book, magazine, computer, computer disk, or other
print or visual medium, or an electronic, magnetic, or optical
storage system, or any other type of storage system which depicts a
minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of a
prohibited sexual act.

Despite Murdoch having 348 images on his computer, the district court held, and the Iowa Supreme Court upheld, the dismissal of nine of the ten counts. The Supreme Court held that as long as the images were only on a single computer, there could only be one violation of Section 728.12(3). Check out George’s post for more analysis of this ruling.

Brett Trout

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