11 Sep 2013

CNMI principal not guilty of accessing child pornography

11:39 am on 11 September 2013

A former school principal in the Northern Marianas was found not guilty of charges of accessing child pornography websites using a Public School System-issued laptop.

A federal jury in February unanimously gave a not guilty verdict against Thomas Weindl on charges of attempted receipt of child pornography and access with intent to view child pornography.

FBI agents arrested the 68 year-old in June, 2013.

The prosecution alleged Mr Weindl searched for and accessed almost 200 websites containing images of child pornography, as indicated in a report that FBI special agent Joe Auther allegedly received.

During trial, the prosecution showed only three images.

Mr Weindl's lawyer pointed out during trial that his client admitted to viewing websites containing pornography out of inappropriate curiosity but there was no intent to view child pornography.