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20 Year Old Viewed Child Porn, Computer Taken By Police

Question:

Recently, a young man I know was apparently viewing child porn on his computer. Police showed up with a search warrant, took his computer and every other computer in the home. His parents had no idea.

The parents have struggled with this child all their lives because he has ADHD and social problems. This child also had gotten into trouble recently when he was confronted and about to be attacked by other youths. He had a knife and pulled it out, but did not hurt anyone. The police were called and he was arrested. He got lucky and was not sentenced. However, the judge ruled that he was to stay out of trouble and return to court several times to insure he was no longer getting into trouble. If so, the case would be dismissed.

Now this child porn case has been made. Although this person is 20, due to his condition, his maturity level is about around a 14 years old. He admitted what he did and said he needs help.

The legal process has not started yet.

Can you recommend what kind of doctor and counseling his parents should obtain? They also need legal help. Now, they also fear that their other children will be taken from them. They are good parents, hard working, and care for people in the community.

Any thoughts and experience you have regarding therapy for the whole family and any thoughts about if you think this person will go to jail for several years.

I am sure he would not be able to handle this mentally.

Thanks for your kind service.

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Answer:

This is a very serious case involving legal matters that, in my opinion, just might lead to prison time for this young man. Of course, this is only a guess on my part but let me point out that there are a couple of factors that are of great concern.

First, this twenty year old is an adult and not a child. Even if he has some sort of psychiatric condition, he will be considered to be responsible for his actions unless a psychiatrist examines him and determines that he is so very impaired that he does not know right from wrong. From what you describe, that is not the case. In fact, that is very rarely the case even when the courts are dealing with a psychotic person.

Second, ADHD, if he has that, does not explain his behavior. People with ADHD are by and large, responsible law abiding citizens who do not watch child porn, pull knives on others or end up arrested and in court. In addition, they do come across seeming to be stuck at a younger age than they are. I am not suggesting that he does not have ADHD. Only that there must be other problems that afflict him.

While I am not an attorney, I do not see how this young man’S behavior has anything to do with his siblings so that they would be taken away from the parents. If the siblings fall within the age range between birth and eighteen years of age, and the parents are found to be abusive or neglectful, can they be taken away. Just because their twenty year old brother is getting in trouble does not mean they can be taken away from their parents.

As far as psychotherapy is concerned there are only two ways he can be referred: 1. If the judge rules that he must see a psychologist or psychiatrist for ongoing therapy, or, 2. If he decides he wants psychotherapy and decides to seek it. As an adult, it is only the judge who can force him to go for treatment because of his criminal status. From the sound of it he may receive a prison sentence making therapy a mute point. However, I again want to reiterate that I am not an attorney and do not know what might happen to him in terms of the law.

I can only give my impression that, for the police to come to the door with a search warrant and to confiscate his computer and all the others in the house and to put him under arrest, he must have been doing something very seriously offensive.

As for the family, if, for some reason, they wish to seek family therapy to help them deal with the fallout from this, they can do an internet search for therapists in their area. Of course, this would not included their son unless he is out of prison and he wishes to join them.

I have no doubt that this man will need an attorney. If he has no money, the court will appoint one to the case. If the family wishes to hire and attorney and pay for it, that is their own choice.

Finally, as to whether or not this man can handle jail time, there is no way for me to determine that. Only a psychiatrist could make that determination and, in any case, it might not impress the judge. There are psychiatric services in most prisons today.

I wish you, this young man and the family good luck.

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