Teacher in porn popup case likely to be exonerated

Teacher in porn popup case likely to be exonerated

Summary: The substitute teacher who was convicted on four felony counts of risking injury to minors after she failed to prevent porn ads from popping up on a classroom computer has been granted a motion for a new trial, reports Wired News. Julie Amero, of Norwich, Conn.

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TOPICS: Government US
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The substitute teacher who was convicted on four felony counts of risking injury to minors after she failed to prevent porn ads from popping up on a classroom computer has been granted a motion for a new trial, reports Wired News.

Julie Amero, of Norwich, Conn., who was to be sentenced this week, was facing 40 years of jail time for not being able to control the images that popped up on the monitor. Despite the fact that Amero testified that the monitor did not face the children, and that the schools IT administrator allowed the school's filtering software to expire, she was found guilty. The judge has granted her a new trial but it is likely that the case won't go to trial again. Judge Hillary B. Strackbein granted the motion after a state laboratory's examination contradicted evidence presented in court.

"The jury may have relied, at least in part, on that faulty information," said Judge Hillary B. Strackbein, according to the Associated Press.

The computer's hard drive was closely examined by Eric Sites, the CTO of the security software company Sunbelt, who found misinterpretation in the testimony of the expert witness.

"For a real computer expert, it was easy to see there were inaccuracies in the testimony given by the prosecution's expert witness, and I think the prosecution was truly led astray by the assertiveness of their witness," Sites said.

"There was definitely adware called new.net," Sites said. "It was downloaded by a screensaver installed for Halloween by the teacher Amero was subbing for."

If exonerated, Amero could have the basis for suing the city if they knowingly misrepresented evidence or presented testimony from a clearly incompetent expert. She could also have a malpractice claim against her first lawyer, who failed to provide the prosecution with evidence that the computer was infected. As a result, the evidence was excluded from trial, so the jury never learned about it.

Topic: Government US

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11 comments
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  • Sued for showing porn?

    OMG, I hope the poor kids don't go blind!

    Yet a few victims of the mediocre software from Redmond.
    Ditch the crap or face the risk of going to jai for 40 years!

    (This can only happen in the US of A :-) )
    Mikael_z
    • It was an absurd case

      If she had loaded the porn software herself and then made the class watch then I could see a case against her, but, according to the report, that is not what happened.

      To effectively convict someone for being in the same room as a computer that popped a porn image is nuts. Why prosecute her? Why not prosecute the kids? They were in the room too. Prosecute all the teachers - they were in the same building when it happened.

      This case was nuts from the start.
      bportlock
    • Incompetence

      <p>"Yet a few victims of the mediocre software from Redmond.
      Ditch the crap or face the risk of going to jai for 40 years!"</p>

      <p>To drive on the streets one needs a licence. Using a computer with absolute no clue, it is the equivalent of driving on the streets with no prior driving knowledge, experience, instruction. <b>The IT administrator did a poor job of securing the computer.</b></p>

      <p>Also I guess you dint notice the incompetence of
      <ul>
      <li> her first attorney who did a miserable job in defending her </li>
      <li> the expert witness for the prosecutor </li>
      <li> the prosecutor on hiring such a poor expert witness</li>
      <li> the school IT administrator who did not secure the computers</li>
      </ul>
      </p>
      code_Warrior
      • the prosecutor's "expert" witness

        The prosecutor's "expert" witness was a cop, with an hour or two of "training" on a simple tool that lets you look at browser history.

        One of the things he claimed is you can tell if the URL is typed in vs automatically redirected. He did not pay attention to date/time stamps, which would clearly show you cannot type in that many URLs in that short time span.

        Google her name and read about this sorry affair. The judge for the first trial should be carefully examined for a clue. The prosecutor should face 40 years for abuse of power.

        The cop witness should be fired and sued for incompetence.

        It was because this case was *so* outragious that it got any attention from competent nerds in the first place.

        Sigh.
        mr_bandit
  • see no evil

    nothing needs to be said , this is self-explanatorially absurd. If she's guilty then a billion other lawsuits can spawn from this case. If the same thing had happened in Europe they would have gotten a good laugh out of it and shrugged it off. Why do we insist on being so pious and self-righteous? Time for people to get a grip on reality.
    tom676
  • Case should have never made it to court anyway

    The whole thing was a string of total incompentency; turning this into a witch hunt for the poor substitute teacher. Small wonder almost nobody competent wants to go into the education feild anymore.

    So a cop is presented as a computer expert, and a lawyer doesn't know what constitutes critical evidence, a school I.T. manager can't keep the software up-to-date, school administrators are more worried about their jobs than about what's right, and the prosecutors are more interested in a conviction than in the truth.

    Sure looks like I could do a better job running the town of Norwich, Conn than any of the bozoes who currently have the job there.
    Dr_Zinj
    • Thanks to (Frank( Oz...

      ... Where could I go to set up a community of robots and not be noticed? .... Connecticut! (The New "Stepford Wifes")
      Media-Ted9
  • what about the 12 morons that arrived at a guilty verdict? (nt)

    nt
    jmelnik
  • Did you see who the guilty party was?

    The substitute teacher should be investigated since new.net spyware (supposedly) compiles user browsing history and then delivers related advertising content (in this case, porn).
    But new.net should be sued right out of business just for their tactics in making the software so difficult to safely remove from users' systems.
    billjacobus1
    • HAHAHA

      Wow you're almost as bad as all the other morons that created this situation. Did you notice the part about the computer being accessed by the students regularly? Or the part about the spy-ware being installed long before the substitute ever got there? Obviously the browser history from the sub would be a very small percentage of the total browser history even if she started looking at porn the moment she got there. And lets all remember we're talking about kids that are 14 years old. When do kids hit puberty again? Idiots like you are the reason this ever became a case in the first place. Grow a brain.
      mmadink
  • The Teacher Should Sue

    We were talking about this in church last night and I drew the conclusion that the teacher should sue the school system and IT provider...

    Why?

    Simply this they failed to provide the proper training and tools to allow the teacher to protect the children...

    And, as I understand it she was specifically charged with _NOT_ to turn the computer off...

    I've been a substitute before and when the administration (experts?) gives you a direct order you don't violate it if you ever want to sub again.

    She may or may not have been computer literate (read that as properly trained) enough to know how to kill a task and stop IE altogether.

    So far, thank God, I haven't been hit that badly since I've installed a good **working** firewall and set up IE with a little more teeth...

    But, I have been hit in the past with pop-ups that the only way I could stop them was to shut down the computer. Period.

    Killed the task in the task list, but they were spawning so fast there was no way to catch up.

    Then they had changed my home page!

    And, the only way to win control was to shut down again and come up in safe mode and change the home page back.

    Thankfully, this one wasn't one that actually had had an executable payload...

    Yes, she should have called for the administrators to come take care of the problem. Don't know if she did or did not...

    But, unless there was a call-out intercom in the room she was left with turning the computer around or leaving the class unattended...

    (Didn't she send a child to the office. Probably ignored...)

    If she is guilty...

    The the school administrators are, TOO!

    But, the only sure way to get her life back is to counter-sue and win as they have marked her for life...

    Mike Sr.