A 22-year-old Columbia University student who made a name for himself fighting child sex abuse now finds himself charged with similar crimes. The man has been charged with numerous child porn charges as well as several other serious sex abuse charges. If he is found guilty, he could get 50 years in prison for one charge and a further 10 years on the other. He has retained New York criminal defense counsel, who has argued against his viability as a flight risk and a danger to the community.
According to the report, the man founded an organization intended to raise awareness about sexual violence, a project that took him all the way to the United Nations General Assembly where he spoke on the importance of protecting children. At the same time, the man allegedly became involved with another person he believed to be 18 years old. The other individual turned out to be 13, though his defense counsel argues the younger individual wilfully misrepresented himself.
The prosecution has brought forth evidence that the man reached out to an individual he believed to be complicit in child pornography for explicit pictures of a 9-year-old girl. That individual turned out to be an undercover agent, who also said the 22-year-old solicited sex with a child as young as 2 years old. The man has been suspended from Columbia until the case comes to an end, though it is unclear if he remains in police custody.
Charges of this nature belie monstrous actions, which is why it is so important to remember that Americans are always presumed innocent of criminal charges until -- and only if -- proven guilty. In this case, New York prosecutors will need to provide compelling evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the man is guilty of these very serious accusations. His criminal defense representation will carefully review all material supporting the prosecutions' claims in preparation for the coming court proceedings.