An Innocent Man is Framed for Child Porn by a PC Virus
How many other innocent men are sitting in prisons with their lives destroyed because of a computer virus?
How many other families have had their lives destroyed and their life savings wiped out because a family member was wrongly accused of knowingly possessing child pornography?
This website is inspired by the events surrounding the conviction of an innocent man, Nathaniel Ethan Solon, for possession and receipt of child pornography. Nathaniel is known as "Ned" to his friends and family so that is the name we use on this website.
The following is a little bit of background about Ned's situation. On September 21, 2006 law enforcement searched Ned's home for child pornography. After an exhaustive search of both his home and his computer, nothing was found.
Law enforcement then removed the hard drive from Ned's computer and took it back to their lab for forensic testing. Only after several days of examination were they able to find trace evidence of child pornography.
As far as Ned knew, there wasn't any child pornography on his computer so he wasn't worried. Eventually he went and bought another hard drive for the computer and life continued on for him.
It was a complete surprise to Ned and his family when on January 20, 2007 he was arrested and charged with "knowingly" possessing a hard drive containing digital images of child pornography.
A trial commenced November 3, 2008 and on November 10th the jury reached a verdict of "guilty." On January 21, 2009 Ned was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison.
Ned's Notice of Appeal was filed on February 5, 2009. On February 17, 2010, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rendered its decision to affirm the conviction of Ned Solon for Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography. A review of the full court was requested, but denied on April 7, 2010.
On June 17, 2010 a Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 4, 2010 that Petition for Writ of Certiorari was denied.
On September 7, 2011 a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a Sentence By a Person in Federal Custody (Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255) was filed.
The government responded to this 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Motion on April 12, 2012. On August 3, 2012 a reply to the government's response was filed. The process continues.
Unfortunately for all of us, the mentality in this country is, "if it is on your computer, then you must be guilty." As this family has learned the hard way -- that is not always the case. And since we began this website we have read numerous stories from other families in the same sad situation as this family.
Kathy Bates gave an excellent closing argument on the NBC television show, Harry's Law, in which she stars as Harriett "Harry" Korn, an ex-patent lawyer who was fired from her job and took up working as a criminal defense attorney. Harry's argument was presented in an episode entitled, Send in the Clowns, and it is an excellent reminder that in cases such as Ned's, the prosecution needs to satisfy its burden of proving guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
Original Air Date: 03/21/2011
Harriet "Harry" Korn:
If you were to Google Project Innocence, you'd see case, after case, after case, after case, of people wrongly convicted by unflinching, but mistaken eyewitness testimony.
District Attorney, George Kupcheck:
I'm sorry, Your Honor, she's introducing evidence.
Sorry. You know, to be honest, when I first got this case, I thought, "ick." Who wants these kinds of cases? They don't pay. The facts are ugly. When I first saw the defendant I thought, he probably did it. I'm sure a few of you think the same.
And the victim, he's intelligent, clean-cut, upper middle-class, certainly no motive to lie. Why wouldn't we believe him? I mean, he was there, for God's sake. If he says it was Ronald Perry, then who the hell are we to doubt him?
Well, you have a duty to doubt him. You took an oath to demand that the prosecution satisfy its burden of proving guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. And they haven't done that.
They never found the watch or wallet in my client's possession, never located a gun; they introduced no physical evidence, no circumstantial evidence, no forensics of any kind. Just the eyewitness account from a man who clearly had to be in shock; a man who was able to describe almost nothing about his assailant. For the gun, you heard the meticulous details. For the suspect, fat Latino. That's it. Maybe Mr. Layton got it right. Perhaps it was Ronald Perry. But maybe, just maybe, he got it wrong.
That's why when it comes to eyewitness testimony, we demand corroborating evidence. And here, there is none. None. And even if you were inclined to accept an uncorroborated eyewitness account, please let it at least be from somebody who could describe the defendant. The color of his shirt, length of hair, eyes, nose, something more than fat Latino. Let the testimony at least be from somebody who wasn't in shock at the time; someone who didn't have a big gun stuck in his face. That is, if you care. A lot of juries don't. Let's face it, especially when it comes to blacks and Latinos; and not just the fat ones.
District Attorney Kupcheck:
Objection, Your Honor, Come on.
Come on, what? Are you prepared to argue that equal treatment exists?
Alright counsel, we get your point.
I'm new at this criminal practice. I come from patent law, a much more lucrative practice. Very white-collar. We never get any of these icky cases. In fact I often wondered about the attorneys who did criminal law. As I've said, there's no money in it. For the most part your clients are, well, criminals. What kind of lawyer wants that for a life?
Well, there's one. Sitting right there. Marty Slumach. Wakes up every day, fights against overwhelming odds, and for what? To make the prosecution satisfy its buden every damn time. Even for his guilty clients. Why? What's the point? Well the point is once you relax those standards, once you say close enough is good enough, seems guilty, lock him up, it's just not the guilty who are at risk, but the innocent. You. Me. Law trash. That's what we blue-bloods like to call the Marty Slumaches of the world. The thing is, without lawyers like him, a lot of innocent people would go to jail, especially the disenfranchised who have no money, no resources, no means to fight the system. That's why at closer look, Marty isn't so much law trash as he is a hero. And one I admire very much.
District Attorney Kupcheck:
Is he retiring? Is there going to be a gold watch? What the hell is going on here?
What's going on is that man, not Marty, but our client, could very well be innocent. The state has not satisfied its burden. It hasn't even come close. He has not been proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. You can't charge a man, take away his freedom, with no physical or forensic evidence, nothing but one shaky ID, and call that justice. You can't be satisfied with that. Nor can you. Assuming, of course, you care. Do you?
Ned is near the end of being able to resolve this issue through the legal system. As of today, justice has not been served. This family realizes there may not be any hope for Ned (although we continue to hold on to hope), but it has become very obvious to us that changes need to be made to the legal system to keep this type of thing from destroying the lives of more innocent people and their families. It is our hope this website will be a start to that end.
We have posted numerous articles on this subject and will continue to post articles as we find them. Those can be found on the Newspaper Article link .
We are interested in hearing from other families in this same situation, but unfortunately, we don't have many words of encouragement. About the only thing we can do at this point is use this website to educate potential jurors and provide the Transcripts and Court Documents from Ned's case in the hope that these documents may help others who find themselves in the same situation as Ned get prepared for the nasty battle ahead.