Former Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier child porn trial postponed, hard drives to be copied | TheUnion.com
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Former Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier child porn trial postponed, hard drives to be copied

A Nevada County judge has granted the request of the defense attorney in a high-profile child porn case to postpone the trial and to have his forensic expert copy the hard drives of the defendant’s seized computers.

Former Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier has been charged with three counts of having or possessing digital obscene images of a person younger than 18; his trial was set to begin Aug. 18 and is expected last more than a week.

The criminal investigation against Lamphier was sparked by an anonymous letter just a week before the Nov. 4 election in which he was running for a seat on the Grass Valley City Council; investigators reportedly found images of “very young girls” on Lamphier’s workplace computer.



Lamphier — who said he “has not proactively and knowingly ‘clicked on, visited or downloaded’ any inappropriate material from sites” — won a seat on the council in November. He was sworn amidst protests, and resigned two days later.

He faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail on each count, and potentially could be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.




Lamphier’s attorney, Stephen Munkelt, said his expert had reviewed the prosecution’s analysis of the computers and found no evidence to establish how or when the pornographic images were placed on the drives, or whether Lamphier was aware of their presence.

Munkelt asked to be allowed to make a forensically accurate copy of the hard drives, but Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Ow maintained that copying the hard drives would violate federal law and put the evidence at risk.

Superior Court Judge Linda Sloven said the issue boiled down to whether federal law trumped state law, and concluded that case law allowed the copying. She said, however, that she was concerned about the specifics of how the copying would be accomplished and the preservation of the evidence, and directed the parties to meet and confer.

Lamphier was set to return to court at 9 a.m. Aug. 25, with a trial date to potentially be set for September.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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