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Ex-TSA worker wants expert testimony banned from child pornography trial

Union Leader Correspondent

January 03. 2014 12:32AM

BRENTWOOD — A Manchester man who worked as a security officer for the Transportation Security Administration is arguing that prosecutors should not be allowed to use testimony from any experts to prove he allegedly collected child pornography.

Miguel Quinones, 38, is asking a judge to bar any testimony from investigators or state experts during his upcoming trial on 10 counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, and 10 other counts of attempted possession of child sexual abuse images.

"It appears that much of the testimony that the state might offer would amount to hearsay testimony such as how the images are tracked, (and) how the images are found to be illegal," defense lawyer Roger "Rusty" Chadwick argued in court papers.

The case against Quinones, a former security officer for the TSA, broke open in May when he turned over a laptop and three USB drives he kept in his work locker at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

A search of the computer hardware yielded roughly 1,000 images of child pornography, police said.

Assistant County Attorney Terri Harrington argued that the state plans on using the images themselves, rather than expert testimony, to prove to a jury that the images amounted to child pornography.

Chadwick is also arguing that a judge should decide whether the images depict real children engaged in sexual activity. He suggested the images could amount to protected speech under the First Amendment.

Harrington said in a court motion that any question about whether the images are actually child pornography should be left to a jury.

"There is no indication that the images in this case are 'morphed,'" Harrington said in court papers. "Sexual abuse images are not protected speech."

Indictments allege Quinones kept a collection of pictures that showed underage girls engaging in sexual acts with men.

Each of the charges are punishable by up to 7½ to 15 years in state prison and a $4,000 fine.

On Jan. 2, he was indicted by a grand jury in September on 20 charges related to having child pornography in his possession.

Quinones is scheduled for trial the week of April 21.

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