ABC's Jim Avila's Interview With Andrew Thomas, District Attorney, Maricopa County

JIM AVILA: So let…let's look at this case of this 15 year old boy…First of all, what happened to the case? Police go to his house. Guns drawn, uh, 6 o'clock in the morning, quiet cul-de-sac in Phoenix. Wake up Mom and Dad, with guns in their faces. A gun to the 16 year-old who's up in the second floor…bring him down, accuse him of child pornography. He's charged with nine counts. It could have been 90 years. It's a two year process. At the end of the day, he's charged with …a crime…which I doubt you've ever charged anybody with before as an initial crime…What happened in your view?

ANDREW THOMAS: Well, and…and just to clarify, in terms of the police action, uh, this office wouldn't have had control over that, and I…I frankly don't know the exact facts of…of how the search warrants were executed. But there were search warrants obtained from a court of law that were…uh, were executed. And as a result of that, evidence was found uh, linking uh, this juvenile defendant with the…with possession of child pornography on his computer. He was…

JIM AVILA: (Overlap) What was the evidence that linked him to it?

ANDREW THOMAS: Well, in…initially, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children uh, came into contact with the Phoenix police department. They…as a result of that tip, and evidence uh, linking that computer to a yahoo web site were able to work with our office, obtain search warrants. And uh, they went in and uh, conducted that uh, uh…that investigation.

ANDREW THOMAS: They then spoke to the uh…the juvenile who made uh, certain admissions. Uh, while he denied accessing adult uh, pornography, he did admit to being a part of uh, accessing uh, adult pornography and…

(OFF-MIKE)

ANDREW THOMAS: The juvenile admitted that uh, while he…or he said…the juvenile said that uh, while he did not access child pornography, he did uh, access adult pornography as…as part of uh, a…a group…a web site that he uh, went onto on the Internet. So you have all of that evidence plus some incriminating statements. And as a result of that, the…the case was brought. But as is…

JIM AVILA: (Overlap) I just want to get…

ANDREW THOMAS: Yeah.

JIM AVILA: …specific on that.

ANDREW THOMAS: Sure.

JIM AVILA: Because you say all of that evidence. When you listen carefully to what you said, the evidence was that again, there were some pictures on his computer that were child pornography.

ANDREW THOMAS: Yes.

JIM AVILA: You didn't have any admissions by him that he had anything to do with child pornography.

ANDREW THOMAS: Correct.

JIM AVILA: Okay. There was no evidence that you found that directly linked him to it, because it was a computer in the family's home.

ANDREW THOMAS: No, he admitted uh…not to …he…he did admit to the fact that it was his computer. He admitted to the fact that he had used that computer to access uh, the web sites where he frequented adult pornography. And he, admitted that that was the computer that he used for going onto the Internet. So…and it was…it was the computer that he used and it was…

JIM AVILA: (Overlap) Who…who else used that computer in the family?

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