Prison Time For Viewing Porn?

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A Sex Offender?

Arizona child pornography laws are among the harshest in the country. As soon as Matthew was charged, he was put on virtual house arrest, and an electronic bracelet was attached to his ankle to monitor his movements 24 hours a day.

"It was just terrifying. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know why it was happening," Matthew recalled.

Matthew was in an awful predicament, and he tried to keep his house arrest a secret. He wore longer pants to hide the ankle bracelet, but he was scared he would be discovered.

"Yes, I was very scared," he said. "If they found out that I was wearing an ankle bracelet all of a sudden they would be wondering, why are you wearing that? And I had no good answer for them."

The shy young boy could not explain how such pictures appeared on his computer hard drive. The stress of the situation got so bad for Matthew that he told his parents the charges hanging over his head made high school impossible.

"He said 'Mom, I'm hurting,'" said Jeannie. "'I can't sleep. I don't want to disappoint anybody, but I just can't go on anymore.'"

Matt's dreams had been destroyed and his mother was crushed. And even though there was no proof that Matthew personally downloaded those nine pictures, it would be difficult to prove his innocence. Novak said that the pictures alone were practically all the evidence the police needed.

"I thought his chances of winning were probably 20 percent," said Novak.

"They didn't care that I denied it," Matthew said. "They just kept on asking me and kept on thinking that I did it. They just had it built into their mind that this kid is guilty."

What is so frightening about Matt's case? It could happen to anyone.

"The computer had accessed a 'Yahoo' account where there was child pornography," Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County district attorney said. "That was the basis for the search warrants issued by a court."

Yet, the evidence submitted by the Phoenix police department did not identify a specific user. Matt's clean reputation, his good grades and protective family could not stand up to the cold fact that child porn was on that computer. The police and the district attorney had the incriminating photos from the Bandys' computer and the prosecutors were determined to send Matt away.

A Family Fights Back

Matthew Bandy found himself outmatched in the national campaign against child pornography -- harsh laws designed to keep track of pedophiles and punish them severely.

"They didn't care that I denied it, they just kept on asking me and kept on thinking that I did it," he said. "They just had it built in their mind that this kid is guilty, and we're going to make sure that he's convicted. No matter what the means are."

The Bandy family contends that Thomas was on a mission and that his desire to convict was so strong that he ignored important evidence -- like the fact that Matthew passed a lie detector test. The fact that the test indicated that Matt was telling the truth wasn't taken into account.

And that's when the Bandy family really began to fight back. They hired two polygraph examiners who confirmed Matthew was telling the truth. Then they ordered two psychiatric evaluations which concluded that Matthew had no perverted tendencies.

ABC's Jim Avila asked Thomas about the results of the lie detectors tests and Matt's psychiatric evaluations.

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