ACCIDENTAL CHILD PORN – US lawyer threatens action over reports on ex-SM Jaleel VP

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former SM Jaleel VP Adil Mohammed – google

VETERAN TRIAL ATTORNEY Mark Eiglarsh said his client Adil Mohammed, who was charged with ten counts of possessing child pornography images on his cell phone, did not wilfully possess the images, but they “automatically downloaded” onto his phone’s “camera roll.”

Eiglarsh made the statement days after reports were made that Mohammed was slapped with the charges.

Eiglarsh told Newsday that he was retained immediately upon Mohammed’s arrest on August 6 and handled his bond hearing, in which he was released on a US$25,000 bond.

Eiglarsh said, “The charge is possession of child pornography and the title of the statute is that he possessed the pornography where in the images involved some type of sexual performance by a child which makes the photographs very disturbing and alarming.”

In a release sent to the media on Sunday, Eiglarsh said the images automatically downloaded onto Mohammed’s phone after he visited “various lawful adult websites on Whatsapp” but in a phone conversation with Eiglarsh, he clarified, saying that it was a Whatsapp group.

“I think it is more accurate to say that he visited a Whatsapp group,” Eiglarsh said. “In my own personal experience when I visit certain things on Whatsapp – let’s say you’re in a group that is totally involving adult participants – and someone posts a photo, unless you go into your settings and change it for that group you will then automatically have every image that someone posts on that group immediately appears on your camera roll.”

Eiglarsh said Mohammed immediately disabled the feature after he learned that there were child pornography images on his cellphone.

“But it was too late,” he said. “There were still some images on one of his phones that he barely uses.”

Defence attorney Mark Eiglarsh – google

Newsday spoke to technology columnist Mark Lyndersay, who said the iPhone camera roll can send photos to a user’s phone to Apple’s iCloud servers. He explained that any images uploaded to a user’s iCloud account are then available on all Apple devices signed in to that account.

He added that images and text viewed in a browser are downloaded to a special cache folder hidden in the operating system and that other apps do not normally have access. For an image to become part of a camera roll, it would have to be downloaded by the user from the browser as a file for future consideration.

With regard to Whatsapp, Lyndersay said, “The software has limited capacity to interpret a website. Links on WhatsApp are normally directed to a browser on the user’s device.

“Images sent to a device owner from another WhatsApp user or as part of communications in a group chat are visible to image browsers and may, automatically, be added to the camera roll after they are viewed on the device.

According to Miami police reports, on August 6 officers of the Miami Dade Customs and Border Patrol contacted the police department airport district sergeant to inform him of an incident involving a passenger in possession of sexual child abuse material. Police said they got a tip-off leading to them detaining Mohammed and seizing two phones, an iPhone 13 and a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Customs officers browsed the albums on the Samsung phone and found thousands of pornographic files. In an interview with Miami police, Mohammed said he transfers multiple files between devices.

Shortly after, he was slapped with the charges. All ten charges read the same, that: “On or about August 6 2022 in the County and State aforesaid, did knowingly possess a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation or other presentation in whole or in part, which said defendant knows to include any sexual conduct by a child in violation of s. 827.071(5), Florida Statute, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the state of Florida.”

Statute 827.071 under chapter 827 of the Florida statutes dealing with abuse of children and sexual performance by a child and child pornography states that it is unlawful for anyone to knowingly possess, control, or intentionally view content which he or she knows to include a child pornography. If there is more than one child in the content, then each such child is viewed as a separate offence.

Eiglarsh to TT media: Get it right

Eiglarsh took the TT media to task in an e-mail saying that several local media houses erroneously said that Mohammed was charged with molesting children.

In the e-mail sent to several media houses Eiglarsh said Mohammed was not charged with having any physical sexual contact with any minor.

“A simple reading of his arrest affidavit makes it clear that he’s not charged with molesting and/or coming into contact with any minor to engage in unlawful sexual acts.”

“They have (reported wrongly),” Eiglarsh told Newsday over the phone.

“That is the only reason I chose to ignore my family on a Sunday and send this out to newspapers that I couldn’t give a s— about.”

“I don’t know if that is an international thing, but I have never seen any group of newspapers get it so damn wrong and make my client into a child molester when he is accused of possessing photographs that got into his phone innocently enough.”

He said Miami prosecutors are aware of his client’s defence and are currently investigating the matter. He added in the e-mail that Mohammed is in the process of holding accountable all media outlets that reported that he was arrested for molesting children.

“He (Mohammed) is demanding that all outlets who ran the false story immediately issue a retraction. Mr Mohammed will likely be initiating defamation lawsuits against media outlets who grossly and maliciously defamed him.”

On Friday, Newsday reported that Mohammed, a 48-year-old former vice president of information technology, was charged with ten counts of sexual performance by a child and child pornography.

SM Jaleel, in a statement posted on social media said the company contacted Mohammed after learning of the charges and that conversation led to his resignation.

“Since the matter is currently before the Courts in the United States of America, and therefore sub judice, propriety demands that it is inappropriate to comment on the case. Our Company requires all employees and family members employed within the Company, to abide by the Company’s values, moral code of conduct and the laws pertaining to all the jurisdictions where we operate. Mr Adil Mohammed is not a shareholder or a director of the Company,” SM Jaleel Corporate said.

According to his website, Eiglarsh, born and raised in Miami, graduated from the University of Florida with honours, earning a bachelors of science degree in Telecommunication (Radio and Television Production).

He got his law degree from Loyola School of Law, in New Orleans, where he earned a scholarship by competing on the Moot Court National Team.

He served as a Miami Dade county prosecutor from 1992-1996.

He has been involved in many “high-profile” matters including cases involving one of Madonna’s alleged stalkers; former University of Miami Football Star Rohan Marley, the son of Reggae Legend Bob Marley; two juveniles charged with shooting and killing a German tourist; and Yusimil Herrera, a former abused foster child accused in the beating death of her three-year-old daughter. He also represented one of the police officers involved in the Uvalde shooting where five officers were faced with heavy criticism over their response to the shooting, particularly over why it took so long for the police officers to confront the shooters.

Eiglarsh has also contributed to several mainstream news media programmes in the US, including programmes on CNN, NBC and Fox networks.