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Child porn trial in Juniata County continues today

February 16, 2011 - By KIERNAN M. SCHALK, Sentinel reporter, kschalk@lewistownsentinel.com

MIFFLINTOWN - The most dramatic moment in the first day of a jury trial for a man charged with 397 counts of possession of child pornography, came not from any particular testimony, but instead came during moments of complete silence.

After lunch, jurors were shown 397 images of child pornography allegedly downloaded by the Pennsylvania State Police from Duke Psoras' computer.

After nearly 10 minutes of viewing the alleged child pornography images, some of the jurors tried to look away and many of them were visibly upset at what they were viewing - some even began to look elsewhere in the courtroom in an attempt to avert their eyes from the images.

State Police Trooper Kevin Garhart, a forensic computer expert, testified the bulk of the images he obtained from Psoras's computer were from "temporary internet files" which are files stored on a computer from websites visited by the user.

Garhart further testified that he was only able to obtain one child pornography image from Psoras' computer that was actually downloaded and stored on the defendant's computer, which was last modified by someone in Aug. 2008. With the exception of that one image, the remaining temporary internet files were created in 2002.

Earlier during the day, State Police Trooper David Clemens testified about how he came to be in possession of Psoras' computer.

Clemens testified Psoras' wife, Linda Barnett came to the Lewistown barracks in January of 2010 to report she suspected her then 4-year-old daughter may have been molested by Psoras.

Clemens testified that Barnett also suspected her husband was viewing child pornography and brought his computer to the barracks to have law enforcement investigate her suspicions.

Clemens testified he interviewed Psoras regarding the alleged child pornography images on his computer and his explanation was that someone sent him the images while he was in an AOL chat-room.

Barnett was also among the people who testified on Tuesday and she said on at least two occasions she found photographs of nude children among her husband's belongings.

Barnett also testified she agreed to have the state police record conversations between her and Psoras in an attempt to elicit more information about the alleged child pornography.

Jurors heard one of the alleged recordings between Barnett and Psoras and at one point the defendant acknowledged that if he were ever given a polygraph and asked if he had ever viewed child pornography, he would have to lie. However, that wouldn't matter because polygraph results are inadmissible in court.

Barnett also testified Psoras admitted to her at one point during their relationship, that "I used to be into kiddie porn a long time ago."

Defense attorney Christopher Basner spent much of his time during cross examination of witnesses attempting to establish that the images recovered from Psoras' computer were put their by someone else, other than his client.

During Basner's cross examination of Barnett, he went through all the different places they had lived since they had been married in 2003 and all the people who resided with them during that time period.

At one point, Judge Kenneth A. Mummah asked Clemens that if he had suspected someone else had been living with Psoras during the time period in which the images were allegedly stored on the computer, would he have still filed the charges against the defendant.

Clemens said he would have filed the charges based on the information he acquired during his investigation, which included interviewing Psoras' former girlfriend, although he could not elaborate on what - if anything - came of the specific interview.

Testimony concluded on Tuesday after Basner called two of Psoras' family members - his brother Dimitri and his mother, Christine Ann.

Both Christine and Dimitri testified they never saw the defendant viewing child pornography.

Christine Psoras testified she did not trust Barnett who, according to her, drained her son's finances and became agitated when she found out the defendant was now out of his mother's last will and testament.

Christine Psoras said she did not want any money going to Barnett.

During Basner's line of questioning, he at one point presented a print out of a list of floral arrangements created at Christine Psoras' flower store, which both her sons worked at from time to time over the years.

It appears as though the print out lists the names of the employees who made floral arrangements on a particular date in Aug. 2008.

It remains unclear if Basner was attempting to establish an alibi for his client, regarding the single image that was actually downloaded to his client's computer.

Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas. Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook has rested the prosecution's case, however he may recall rebuttal witnesses based on any future testimony from the defense.

Pending further court action, Psoras remains free on bail.

 
 

 

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