Teacher: Wrong Computer Click Ruined My Life

"This Web page that she had allegedly clicked on, which had been presented at the trial as evidence, clear evidence by the prosecution, everything indicated to the exact contrary that she had not clicked on that link," said Sunbelt Software CEO Alex Eckelberry, who came to Amero's aid after reading about her case in the newspaper.

Combatting the Conviction

The bevy of computer experts that came to Amero's aid proved that the true culprit of the pornographic pop-ups was a malicious spyware program.

The evidence was so compelling that a judge overturned Amero's conviction, saying the prosecution's star witness, a computer forensics expert, had given false testimony.

But for 18 months prosecutors pondered whether they should retry the former educator. They dropped the felony charges, but in November 2008 Amero pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. She can never work in a classroom again.

She said the plea bargain was the result of not wanting to spend more time in a courtroom because the entire ordeal had taken a serious toll on her health.

"They got a pound of flesh," said Amero, who remains unemployed and says she's unable to get work thanks to the ordeal. "The doctors all agreed that I would not make it through another trial."

Amero said the stress of the trial caused a miscarriage and prompted breathing troubles.

Her husband, 57-year-old Wes Vello, said he sees the plea agreement as the state's way of being inflexible.

"They were unwilling to admit they'd made a mistake," said Vello, who works seven days a week as a shipbuilder. "In my opinion it was just a saving face for the state."

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