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Judge allows cell phone evidence in former teacher’s child porn case

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:50 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A former teacher has lost his bid to have pictures found on his cell phone thrown out as evidence in his upcoming child pornography trial.

Jeffrey Pierce, 40, is charged with two counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

In a nearly seven-hour hearing in September, Pierce’s attorneys argued investigators illegally obtained the evidence by forcing him to give his passcode. They claimed agents misled him about their search warrant and used other tactics to compel him to reveal the information.

In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Toby Crouse denies Pierce’s motion.

He agreed with prosecutors that detectives did not force pierce to give the information. Crouse found no evidence that agents misstated the search warrant, as the defense claimed. He also found Pierce provided the passcode information voluntarily.

In addition, the Court ruled Pierce’s wife independently told investigators the pass code, and authorities could have used technology to unlock the phone if he’d refused.

Pierce is a former teacher and assistant coach at Seaman High School. He was arrested Sept. 2, 2020. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the production crimes are alleged to have happened March 10 and March 14 of 2020, and the possession crime is alleged to have happened on Sept. 2, 2020.

If convicted, Pierce faces 15 to 30 years in prison on each production count, and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the possession count.

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