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Government

Teacher in porn popup case likely to be exonerated

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.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

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.

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