Child Pornography Cases Roil Pennsylvania and the Vatican

February 2, 2015 by David S. Seltzer

Two notable child pornography cases grabbed news headlines over the last several days. One involves a middle-aged man, David Michael Gruel, who stands accused of 8 felony counts of sexual abuse of children. The second hails all the way from Vatican City, where officials are reviewing two cases of child pornography.

In Pennsylvania, Fox 43 reports that State Troopers discovered that Gruel allegedly shared images of child pornography online. Troopers searched his home and say they seized a computer that contained images and videos depicting child pornography. Gruel now faces seven counts of child pornography along with one count of committing a crime through technology.

Meanwhile, half a world away, Vatican City’s chief prosecutor discovered two child pornography cases within the city’s walls last year. One case came to light through computer access; the second case’s details have not been released.

It’s been over a decade since the Catholic Church was publically roiled by allegations that priests had been engaging in child sex abuse on a mass scale. Those allegations – and all the bad publicity that accompanied them – helped spur reform within the Church. Pope Francis, meanwhile, is taking a zero tolerance policy regarding these latest changes. Reuters reports that Pope Francis personally approved the Vatican City arrests to send a strong message that everyone in he Catholic Church – even the highest ranking Church officials – must be accountable for their actions. Police arrested former Archbishop Wesolowski last year on charges that he paid for sex with children; he allegedly is also involved in one of these recent cases.

Is there a worldwide problem with respect to the viewing and dissemination of child pornography? Statistically speaking, most people accused of child pornography and child sex abuse are men, but pornography and solicitation defendants are surprisingly diverse.

In both cases we’ve discussed, the defendants stand accused of using the internet to access and view child pornography, reflecting the fact that the internet is the main way child pornography is distributed today.

If you have been falsely accused of viewing, storing or distributing child pornography on your computer, you understand how potentially damaging the charges may be. To protect your name, your freedom and your reputation, get in touch with a qualified Miami cybercrime defense attorney at Seltzer Law, P.A. immediately at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) for a free and confidential consultation.