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Prosecutors must prove age in porn films

Minnesota- A Hennepin County judge has reconsidered a ruling he made in September in a child pornography case, and said this week that the prosecution, not the defense, has to prove that the people depicted in the images are minors.

The decision came in the case of Donald D. Schoen, who was charged in May with six counts of possessing child pornography. District Judge Stephen Swanson struck down the state’s entire child pornography law in September, saying it was unconstitutional. On Monday he ruled that the part of the statute that shifted the burden on the child’s age to the defense was improper, but he left the remainder of the statute intact.

Defense attorney Jeff Dean, who raised the issue, said Tuesday that the ruling is a victory for the Constitution because it rightfully puts the burden on the state.

The state had argued that the law could be salvaged by taking out the disputed part relating to the age of the child.

County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said she was very pleased with Swanson’s ruling.

“This will allow us to go forward with the 100 other cases we have pending,” she said.

 

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