Holyoke Child Porn Defendant Stuck In Legal Limbo

Edward Dupont (74), from Holyoke, who was charged with possessing child pornography, is stuck in a legal limbo. Dupont, with at least 135 other defendants, was charged in the Playpen case after the FBI obtained a warrant from a magistrate judge in Virginia to take over the website, which contained thousands of child porn images and videos.

Operation Pacifier, the law enforcement action that resulted in the arrest of several persons including Dupont, took place in 2015. However, when U.S. District Judge William Young released a 39-page order in May claiming that the search warrant used in the operation was illegal, it was a game-changer for defendants, prosecutors and defense attorneys everywhere. With all the electronic evidence extracted from the search warrant suppressed against Alex Levin (49), a computer technician charged with the possession of child pornography material, prosecutors found themselves with “virtually no case.” The government appealed Young’s decision to a higher court for review.

In Dupont’s case, an FBI affidavit charging him with possessing child porn states that during the house search of the 74-year-old man, agents found more than 16,000 images on his computer and several videos showing the rape of a girl as young as 5 and a 170-page manual titled “How to practice child love.”

Dupont has been denied pretrial bail since September, however, Kevin Murphy from Dupont’s defense intends to file a new motion for the man’s pretrial release.

Victor Stepus (47), from Chicopee, who has been arrested during Operation Pacifier too, has also been fighting for pretrial release in the wake of the Levin decision. His lawyer, Alan J. Black, predicts the case may be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court and could potentially wipe out many of the associated prosecutions.

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