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Judge rules out claim that he was just doing his research

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A journalist in the US has been convicted of peddling child pornography, even though he insisted it was part of ongoing research into paedophiles on the Net. Believed to be the first hack to be convicted for trafficking child pornography, 54-year-old Larry Matthews pleaded guilty to the offence after the Judge refused to allow him to base his defence on freedom of speech as laid down by the First Amendment of the American Constitution. US District Report Judge Alexander Williams Jr argued that if Matthews succeeded it could provide a legal loophole for paedophiles to dodge future prosecution. Sentencing Matthews to 18 months in prison, Judge Williams said: "I believe Mr Matthews crossed the line. I also believe that [that what he did] was immoral." Matthews is expected to appeal against the decision. ®

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