During the first week in April more than 30 men across Massachusetts were arrested in connection with the state’s largest child pornography sweep. Called “Operation Corral,” the sweep was a collaborative effort between state and federal law enforcement agencies. Along with 14 current investigations, 56 warrants were executed and 32 Massachusetts residents were arrested, with criminal charges potentially in the offing for eight more residents.

Police say most of the men were arrested after allegedly being tracked using peer-to-peer file serving networks. They claim thousands of images and videos were found during the investigation.

Those arrested included a 56-year-old Natick man who is charged with possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, though no details of that or any other arrest were provided. Others arrested include a 33-year-old Milford man, also facing possession of child pornography allegations. A 56-year-old Dedham resident was similarly charged with both possession and dissemination of child pornography. Police claim the detained men are your typical “next door neighbor” type.

Massachusetts and federal law affords those facing criminal charges the presumption of innocence, a right which applies as much to those accused of child pornography as it does to those accused of any crime. Nevertheless, the very nature of the allegations dictates that those accused are likely to face not only the possibility of criminal prosecution but also heightened publicity surrounding the claimed incidents. But lest there be any rush to judgment, the allegations set forth must be proved in court beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction is obtained. That is no small task, and those accused have every right to challenge the evidence proffered against them as they fight to clear their names and seek a favorable result.

Source: Weston Town Crier, “Dozens arrested in Mass. child pornography sweep,” Norman Miller, April 10, 2012