Prison for Viewing Porn?
Jan. 12, 2007 — Sixteen-year-old Matthew Bandy had been about as normal an adolescent while you may find. He really liked getting together with their family members.
«He had been a happy-go-lucky kid,» stated their mother, Jeannie Bandy. «Very personable, and big-hearted. We seem like a boastful mother, but i suppose the greatest thing is me laugh. which he could constantly make»
«We proceeded holidays along squirt dating app with a lot of enjoyment together,» Matthew said. «we simply enjoyed the life span I became residing. But when I ended up being accused, everything changed.»
That which was Matthew Bandy accused of? Jeannie and Greg Bandy had been surprised to find out that their son had been faced with control of kid pornography.
One December early morning couple of years ago, Matthew’s life t k a turn that is dramatic. In a special meeting with «20/20,» the Bandy family reveals the way the globe it came crumbling down, and how Matthew’s life has since changed as they knew.
A Family Shattered
It was 2 yrs since police st d during the d rstep associated with the Bandy house with a search warrant bearing a charge that is devastating control of youngster pornography.
«It had been 6 a.m. It had been nevertheless darkвЂ¦there was this pounding during the hinged d r,» Jeannie Bandy stated. «I happened to be petrified.»
Police stormed in to the homely house or apartment with guns pointed. «the very first thing we thought had been, another person’s wanting to break inside our household,» Matthew said. «then there [were] police with weapons pointed at me personally, telling me to get downstairs.»
Greg Bandy ended up being handed the search warrant and informed that the main suspect was Matthew. Based on the warrant, nine pictures of girls in suggestive poses were on the Bandy family members computer. Yah monitors boards for dubious content and stated that youngster porn had been uploaded through the computer at the Bandys’ home target.
«When they asked me personally have actually you ever l ked up or uploaded or installed erotic pictures of minors, I became simply astonished andвЂ¦I said, ‘No,'» says Matthew.
Nonetheless, Matthew did have an confession that is embarrassing. He was in fact sneaking peaks at adult erotic photos from the household computer. «we got the website from a number of buddies in sch l. [It was] simply adult pornographyвЂ¦Playboy-like images.»
Hard to admit, however unlawful — or more it seemed. Nevertheless, it didn’t l k best for Matt, as authorities confiscated the pc and left your house that day december. A family group ended up being shattered.
«we nevertheless keep in mind once they were clearing up and leaving not to mention I happened to be still within my pajamas and my bathrobe and my fuzzy slippers,» Jeannie Bandy said. «we stated, ‘What do we do now? Can I contact a lawyer?’ [The police officer] said, ‘Well, these are generally felonies that the continuing state takes extremely severe.'»
The Bandys would s n just find out exactly how severe the costs against Matthew were. The family hired Ed Novak, a attorney that is well-respected a big law practice in downtown Phoenix.
«20/20» correspondent Jim Avila asked Novak just what the household was against.
«We faced ten years per count, there have been nine counts,» stated Novak. «If Matt ended up being convicted, those sentences would need to be offered consecutively. Put differently, he could have been sentenced to 90 years in jail. He will have served time until he passed away.»
Greg and Jeannie Bandy knew their son well. These people were surprised in the severe costs against him and frightened by the outl k of these a sentence that is serious.
«He’s never ever done any drugs,» Greg said. «He never ever drank a drop of liquor. He is never ever been a nagging issue, never remained down belated and gotten into trouble or such a thing that way.»
A Sex Offender?
Arizona kid pornography laws and regulations are among the list of harshest in the united kingdom. The moment Matthew had been charged, he had been wear house that is virtual, and an electric bracelet had been mounted on their ankle observe his motions twenty-four hours a day.
«It had been simply terrifying. I did not know very well what was happening. I did not understand why it had been taking place,» Matthew recalled.
Matthew was at an predicament that is awful in which he attempted to keep their house arrest a secret. He wore much longer pants to cover up the ankle bracelet, but he had been afraid he could be discovered.
«Yes, I happened to be very afraid,» he stated. «that I was wearing an ankle bracelet all of a sudden they would be wondering, why are you wearing that if they found out? And I also had no answer that is g d them.»
The timid young child could perhaps not explain just how such photos showed up on his computer drive that is hard. The worries for the situation got so incredibly bad for Matthew which he told their moms and dads the costs hanging over their mind made senior sch l impossible.
«He stated ‘Mom, i am harming,'» stated Jeannie. «‘I can’t sleep. I don’t like to disappoint anybody, but i simply can’t carry on anymore.'»
Matt’s ambitions was in fact damaged and their mom ended up being crushed. And though there is no pr f that Matthew actually downloaded those nine images, it might be tough to show their purity. Novak stated that the images alone were virtually most of the evidence the authorities required.
«we thought their odds of winning had been most likely 20 per cent,» said Novak.
«They did not care that I denied it,» Matthew said. «they simply maintained asking me personally and maintained convinced that i did so it. They simply had it included in their brain that this kid is bad.»
What’s so terrifying about Matt’s situation? It might occur to anyone.
«The computer had accessed a ‘Yah ‘ account where there is kid pornography,» Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County region lawyer said. «which was the foundation for the search warrants given by way of a court.»
Yet, the data submitted by the Phoenix authorities department would not recognize a certain user. Matt’s clean reputation, his g d grades and family that is protective perhaps not remain true to your cold undeniable fact that son or daughter porn ended up being on that computer. Law enforcement in addition to region lawyer had the photos that are incriminating the Bandys’ computer in addition to prosecutors had been determined to deliver Matt away.