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Suspected Child Pornographer Released in Dispute Over Passwords

Feb. 6, 2020, 4:21 PM

A suspected child pornographer should be released after spending four years in custody for refusing to comply with a court order to disclose his computer passwords to the police, the Third Circuit said.

A person can only be held 18 months for civil contempt under 18 U.S.C. Section 1826, the opinion by Judge Julio M. Fuentes said.

Francis Rawls was suspected of having child pornography on his electronic devices. The police obtained a search warrant for the devices but weren’t able to access Rawls’ external hard drive.

When ordered by the court to give the police access to the hard...

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