Lawyer Dean Boland Asks Google to Deindex Court Opinions, Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts About Him
This is the final chapter in the story of Dean Boland, the lawyer and expert witness who unfortunately chose to create child pornography in defense of his clients charged with possessing child pornography. Two of the children victimized by Boland won a $300,000 civil judgment against him, which he tried to wipe away (“discharge”) in bankruptcy. A judgment can be discharged in bankruptcy, provided the judgment wasn’t the result of the debtor knowingly injuring someone. The bankruptcy court here discharged the civil judgment, but only because it bought Boland’s implausible pleas of ignorance. That was clear error, so we REVERSE….
The story begins in 2004, when Boland was serving as a technology expert for Oklahoma and Ohio defendants charged with possessing child pornography. Boland provided his clients a simple defense: doubt. Here’s how it went. Boland created “before-and-after” exhibits. The “before” exhibits were innocuous stock photographs Boland found online of two young girls, Jane Doe and Jane Roe. Boland manipulated (“morphed”) these photographs on his computer to create the “after” exhibits: images of Doe and Roe engaged in sex acts. If Boland could whip up doctored pornography this easily, the argument went, then it’s possible the pornography his clients downloaded was doctored, too. In essence, the defense was that there’s just no way of knowing whether real children are depicted in pornography found on the internet.
Boland tried out his exhibits in an Oklahoma federal court. After he testified, to his surprise, the prosecution turned toward him. The “after” exhibits, prosecutors claimed, were actionable child pornography. The judge interrupted that the exhibits were prepared “at court order” but told Boland to delete the images anyway. Boland didn’t comply. Instead, he called federal prosecutors in his hometown, Cleveland, to see if they agreed his exhibits were illegal. The prosecutors didn’t call back. So Boland shipped his computer from Oklahoma to his mother in Ohio, fearing pr
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