Feeds

Smut pop-up teacher retrial stuck in delay loop

Good name limbo

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Substitute teacher turned smut-serving spyware suspect Julie Amero remains stuck in legal limbo, with the case taking a toll on both her health and job prospects, Connecticut paper the Hartford Courant reports.

More than a year after Superior Court Judge Hillary Strackbein dismissed a discredited child endangerment conviction and ordered a retrial, Amero continues to wait for a chance to clear her name. Her woes stem from a October 2004 incident when she was teaching a seventh-grade language class at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Connecticut. Graphic pop-ups from sites including meetlovers.com were displayed on her computer.

The prosecution contended the pop-up graphics were the result of Amero actively visiting pornographic sites. A jury rejected defence arguments that a spyware infestation was responsible for the porno pop-ups, convicting her of four counts of risk of injury to a minor that carried a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment.

The January 2007 trial became a cause célèbre in internet security circles, sparking a campaign on Amero's behalf. It quickly emerged that the teacher was virtually computer-illiterate, and the school had failed to update the child protection software running on her PC. Defence expert witness W. Herbert Horner said he was prevented from presenting key evidence that malware could have caused the offending pop-ups at the original trial.

Amero's sentencing date was repeatedly delayed leading up to a decision by Judge Strackbein to order the as-yet unscheduled retrial in June 2007.

Quizzed by Courant columnist Rick Green, state prosecutors declined to detail their plans for the case other than to say Amero is on their active trial list. In the meantime, the teacher has been hospitalised for stress and rejected for at least one job after a potential employer was put off by her arrest record, the Courant reports.

It remains unclear whether a backlog of serious cases or an unwillingness by prosecutors to admit mistakes in Amero's prosecution is to blame for the continuing delay. But the maxim that justice delayed is justice denied has never been more apposite than in this case. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.