Man faces 23 new charges of child pornography

CANTON — A former Colton man who had evidence against him deemed inadmissible in his trial on child pornography charges has been reindicted on 23 new charges related to the crime.

Roy J. Johnson, 38, current address unavailable, is charged with 23 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

The indictment charges in each count that on Sept. 14 in St. Lawrence County, Johnson possessed digital images depicting sexual conduct by a child less than 16 years of age.

Johnson is still charged under a previous indictment with 11 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and 11 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

Under those charges, the indictment alleges on Sept. 14, in St. Lawrence County, Johnson possessed, produced, directed or promoted 11 separate digital images which depicted sexual conduct by children less than 17 years of age.

St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards ruled that evidence against Johnson seized by state police on those previous charges would be inadmissable at trial. The ruling followed a Mapp-Huntley hearing July 24 to determine whether physical evidence could be kept out of a trial on the grounds that the police seized the evidence during an illegal search and to suppress statements made by Johnson on the grounds that the statements were illegally obtained.

Judge Richards determined state police did not have probable cause to seize a computer and multiple cellphones from Johnson’s car, which was parked in the County Courthouse parking lot at the time the search warrant was executed.

During the July hearing, state police Investigator Dean White said he had a warrant issued out of Colton Town Court to search the vehicle, but evidence that was in Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm’s possession at the time of the hearing, was not entered in time at the hearing.

As a result, the electronic devices and any evidence obtained from those devices will not be allowed at trial.

DA Gary M. Pasqua said he will not pursue the previous charges in light of the new indictment and will inform the court at Johnson’s arraignment on the new charges.

Johnson remains released on his own recognizance.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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