Brian Henwood, a 43 year old resident of Hollywood, Florida has been arrested for possession of child pornography. He has been booked under twenty felony counts and bond has been set at $200,000.
According to police, Henwood was identified after they discovered the IP address of his computer as a device sharing child pornography over the internet. Henwood is said to have admitted to downloading, storing, and viewing more than twenty images and movies depicting child pornography. The children depicted in the pornography were allegedly as young as 6 years old.
If I were Henwood’s defense lawyer, there are a number of questions that I would like answered. First and foremost, how exactly did the police come to discover the images? What were they doing on the internet and what steps did they take to ultimately identify Henwood?
Second, was Henwood advised of his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent before making his alleged confession? Also, was the confession captured on video?
Does Henwood have any prior criminal history? Does he have any mental health problems? If so, would he benefit from psycho-sexual counseling and sex offender treatment?
While any crime involving children is utterly reprehensible, these crimes do come in degrees. For instance, what was the nature of the imagery? Are the children depicted in the images known to Henwood?
Unlike personal drug use, prosecutors view possession of child pornography to be an extremely serious offense. Reason being, every child porn image or video inherently victimized a child when being produced. Even though viewing images is not an act that directly victimizes a child, being a consumer of such imagery supports an aspect of the illicit sex trade that results on children being victimized.
Assuming this is his first time in trouble, this case may present an opportunity to compel Henwood into treatment. Treatment does not help everyone, but it does help some people. Whatever path is taken in regards to his defense, Henwood should consider the possibility of motioning for a downward departure.
In any event, this case presents yet another instance of the type of cases that law enforcement should be focusing on.