BY JIM DOOLEY – A federal judge will allow child pornography found in the luggage of British national Simon McCarty to be introduced as evidence in a criminal trial scheduled to be held here next month.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright initially suppressed much of the evidence seized from McCarty, ruling that U.S. Transportation Security Administration officers in Hilo overstepped their authority when they examined the contents of his baggage.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Seabright’s suppression ruling, remanding the matter back to him for further consideration.

Now Seabright has found the TSA search, as well as subsequent examinations of McCarty’s laptop computer and external hard drive, were legal.

That clears the way for contents of the hard drive, including self-made videos of McCarty having sex with young boys, to be used in his criminal trial.

McCarty was arrested August 5, 2008 after photos of nude children spilled from an envelope in one of his travel bags during a routine TSA explosives search.

He has been held without bail since then awaiting trial on child pornography charges while his attorney, William Harrison, pursued challenges to the admissibility of the evidence against him.

The searches by TSA personnel were based on sometimes-conflicting accounts of what photos the TSA personnel initially saw, when they summoned police and how the police obtained McCarty’s permission to go through his baggage and electronic devices.

Those searches turned up child pornography stored on McCarty’s laptop computer and on the separate hard drive.

That additional material included “almost 400 still images of child pornography and almost 200 child pornography video clips,” according to court records.

The videos included 60 of McCarty having sex with three different underage boys in the United Kingdom and Nepal, according to court records.

McCarty reportedly helped operate an orphanage in Nepal.

 

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