Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Impact of ID Theft: Spokane Firefighter to Sue Over False Child Porn Arrest

An AP newswire article, via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reports that:

A firefighter who was arrested and accused by the Washington State Patrol of possessing child pornography, then was released after investigators determined he was innocent, says he will file a lawsuit.

"This still affects us daily. It caused severe damage," Fire Lt. Todd Chism says. "We're doing our best to deal with it, but it has been very difficult."

Patrol investigators said a credit card number linked Chism to a Yahoo account that was used to download hundreds of explicit digital images. After his arrest in January, some of his children's' friends were not allowed to visit the Chisms' home.

The case originated in the patrol's missing and exploited children unit with a tip that included a Yahoo e-mail account associated with downloading hundreds of digital images of child pornography.

Investigators found Todd and Nicole Chism's credit card had been used in one of the Internet protocol addresses associated with the Yahoo account, "but they couldn't definitively link the porn to the Chisms' computer or home address or anywhere," [Capt. Jeffrey] DeVere said.

Detectives found fraudulent activity had been reported on three of the four credit card numbers associated with the Chisms' Bank of America account but not the fourth, which was the one used to buy the porn, DeVere said.

The investigative file includes a letter from Bank of America confirming that a fraud complaint had been made for the fourth number in August 2007, but patrol detectives did not receive the letter until after Chism's arrest, DeVere said.

More here.


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