Salina — A Salina man who has admitted that he saw child pornography pictures on his computer is arguing that he is not guilty of a crime because he did not try to save the images on his computer's hard drive.
A Saline County judge has taken the rare, but not unprecedented, case under advisement and will decide whether Cory McQuillan, 28, should stand trial on 66 counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
An attorney for McQuillan argued during a hearing Wednesday that a computer forensic expert found only thumbnail-sized pictures that McQuillan's computer automatically recorded from Web sites he visited. Attorney Christina Trocheck argued that the images were not downloaded, and thus not possessed by her client.
But Assistant Saline County Atty. Jon Whitton countered that possession wasn't an issue because McQuillan told a police investigator that he had created files to save some images. Evidence indicates those files were deleted by someone else before authorities seized the computer in March, Whitton said.
Saline County District Judge Dan Boyer did not give a deadline for when he might issue an opinion.
McQuillan is accused of 66 counts of sexual exploitation of a child because 66 of the 5,000 pornographic images found on his computer were of girls ranging in age from 7 to 14. The other images were of adults.
Authorities seized the computer after McQuillan's wife reported that she suspected there was child pornography on a computer she shared with her husband.
The thumbnail-size photos remained in the Web browser's cache, which stores temporary Internet files. They were found by investigators at the FBI's Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Kansas City, Mo.
McQuillan's case is similar to two cases decided in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, in which both defendants claimed only to be viewing images. However, both were found guilty.