Tuesday, May 15, 2007


N. Furukawa, whom I wrote about in Border Wars, was acquitted yesterday of “bringing child pornography into the United States on his way back from a business trip to Japan and the Philippines.” Dan Browning, N.Y. Man Cleared of Child-Pornography Charge, StarTribune.com (May 14, 2007).

He had been “jailed since April 20, 2006, when customs officials working at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport discovered child pornography on his computer equipment.” N.Y. Man Cleared of Child-Pornography, supra.

Throughout the process, Mr. Furukawa steadfastly maintained his innocence, though he did not deny it was possible that child pornography had been on computer media he was bringing with him when he returned to this country:

Furukawa, who has dual U.S. and Japanese citizenship, testified that he was a self-employed computer consultant with offices in New York, Japan and the Philippines. Among his clients was one of Japan's leading producers of adult videos. Furukawa said the firm hired him to help set up Web pages to market adult videos around the world and to `scour the Internet’ for pirated copies.

Furukawa has maintained since his arrest that he didn't know the child pornography was on his computer, but acknowledged telling government agents that any computer connected to the Internet could have child pornography on it. He also said he had downloaded it inadvertently about 20 times in the past while hunting for pirated videos, but that he tried to delete the files when he discovered them.

N.Y. Man Cleared of Child-Pornography, supra.

Interviewed afterward, jury forewoman Sarah Snider said the jurors examined the logs for the computer Mr. Furukawa had with him when he was entering the U.S. and saw that he had “downloaded thousands of files. The child porn files were `few and far between, she said. `It's our belief he wasn't looking for it.’” N.Y. Man Cleared of Child-Pornography, supra. Another juror said “no one disputed that the images were illegal child porn. `We just didn't see proof that he knew, or that he willingly had that on his computer.’" N.Y. Man Cleared of Child-Pornography, supra.

I’m very glad to report Mr. Furukawa’s acquittal. In my correspondence with him, and with his wife, I was very impressed by their integrity and honest belief that our justice system would do the right thing. I’m very glad they were right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First I worked at the correctional facility that housed this person, second I know he was worked his butt off with outside legal help with all the case laws.

Probable cause is like a thin line between love and hate, even if a cop stops a vehicle without probable cause and searches it and finds a dead body it gets thrown out of court.

Like with the OJ case, if it does not fit, you must acquit. What did not fit was the right to view the laptop without a court order. Now if they had obtained enough reasons to search the laptop, a judge would have needed to sign the order. No legal search warrant, then it’s all weak evidence.