Jury sees images in child pornography case

Video from NBC-2

— Nine jurors silently sat in a dim courtroom Tuesday afternoon, their eyes directed toward a television screen.

For more than an hour, they watched seconds-long snippets of pornographic videos featuring young children. In between each video, a Collier County sheriff’s detective read the name of each computer file, most laden with sexually explicit language and ages of young children.

The jurors began the process of reviewing 248 videos and 206 images submitted as evidence in the child pornography trial against Daniel Enrique Guevara Vilca. The 26-year-old East Naples man faces life in prison if convicted on 454 counts of possessing child pornography after a January 2010 undercover raid resulted in one of the county’s largest child porn busts.

Lawyers from both sides agreed to play the videos up until sex acts were depicted. The jurors in Circuit Court Judge Fred Hardt’s courtroom showed little emotion as they watched 194 video clips. Guevara Vilca sat out of sight from the screen, staring down at a notepad.

The jury is expected to spend most of today watching the remaining videos and reviewing the photographs. The trial is expected to finish on Thursday.

In addition to showing the videos, lawyers from both sides made opening statements Tuesday and four investigators testified during the second day of the trial.

Investigators testified that they seized four computers and a loose hard drive from the apartment. Only a laptop found in a bedroom had child porn on it.

Guevara Vilca’s lawyer, Lee Hollander, told jurors that his client’s brother, Carlos, might have downloaded the porn found on a computer seized from their Landover Court apartment. Carlos won’t be called as a witness.

“They’re not going to be able to exclude Carlos, especially since six of those files were labeled with his name,” Hollander told jurors.

Hollander has also said his client didn’t have knowledge or control of the porn on the computer.

Collier County sheriff’s Detective Jeff Johnson, a forensic analyst for the Sheriff’s Office, testified that the porn-laden computer was registered to one user, Daniel, and that it was password-protected.

Some of the files were found in the computer’s “recycle bin,” but the rest were spread across 13 files, Johnson said. All the files were downloaded between January 2009 and January 2010, Johnson said, and run together they spanned about 38 hours.

Prosecutors also played a taped, sworn interview with Guevara Vilca conducted after the raid. On tape, Guevara Vilca told detectives that the computer was his and that he used the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Limewire, to download porn.

Guevara Vilca said on tape that he sometimes used the search terms “boys” and “girls” on Limewire but added, “I never look specifically for a child.”

Early on Tuesday, the trial was at risk of coming to a standstill over a procedural error.

Collier County Sheriff’s Detective Scott Rapisarda testified that upon seizing the computer containing child porn, he asked Guevara Vilca if it was his. Guevara Vilca replied “yes.”

Although Guevara Vilca later said in a sworn statement that he used the computer, the pre-arrest questioning was never disclosed to defense lawyers in the pretrial phase.

Prosecutors admitted the error, saying they thought it had been disclosed. Hardt asked Hollander if he wanted to make a motion for mistrial but Hollander declined, saying afterward that “we wanted to keep going with this jury.”

Hardt said it appeared to be an inadvertent error and allowed the trial to continue.

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