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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On June 3, 2004, a state judge signed a search warrant that permitted police to search and seize, inter alia, computer equipment, data and memory storage devices, computer files, photographs or any other type of media that might be used to collect or depict persons younger than 18 years of age engaging in sexual conduct found in Flanders’ house. The police officer applying for the warrant stated in an affidavit that he had probable cause to believe that Michael Flanders committed the offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first degree state law felony, and the offense of possession of child pornography, a third degree state law felony. The affidavit included information, inter alia, detailing the discovery by law enforcement of an Internet chat log in which Flanders described various sex acts that he had performed on his two-year-old daughter and that she had performed on him; interviews with Flanders’ daughter detailing such incidents and the daughter’s use of anatomical drawings to indicate where her father abused her; a statement by Flanders’ wife telling police of an incident in which Flanders took a digital picture of his daughter standing on the bed nude after his wife took the girl out of the shower; and a statement by a police officer that based on his training and over six years of experience, he knew “that persons who sexually abuse children also collect and keep child pornography as well as exchange child pornography, and electronic writings, with others who sexually exploit children.” Based on evidence found on his computer and storage drives pursuant to execution of the warrant, Flanders was charged with six counts of interstate receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography shipped through interstate commerce. He moved to suppress, arguing that the warrant was not supported by probable cause. The district court denied the motion and pursuant to a plea agreement Flanders then conditionally pleaded guilty to one count of interstate receipt of child pornography. On appeal, Flanders contended that the mere fact he allegedly had sexually abused his young daughter does not create probable cause that he possessed child pornography. Also, he asserted there was not probable cause that child pornography would be located in his home. The affidavit supporting the warrant, he claimed, was only a bare bones recital of the police officer’s beliefs. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court began by determining whether the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied. The court found that the affidavit contained sufficient information that Flanders possessed child pornography for an officer reasonably to rely on the judge’s probable-cause determination. Such an affidavit must provide the judge “with facts, and not mere conclusions, from which he could determine probable cause,” the court stated. The affidavit presented the judge with sufficient facts, the court stated, because it recounted 1. Flanders’ wife’s statement that Flanders took a picture of his daughter while she was naked and 2. the forensic interviewer’s conclusion based on the daughter’s statements that Flanders had sexually exploited her. The affiant’s statement that he knew that people who exploit children also possess child pornography understandably leads Flanders to conclude that the inference from child exploitation to child pornography was the only basis on which the affidavit supports the search for child pornography. But the affidavit, the court stated, does not require this inference, because the act of digitally photographing a naked child whom the defendant had allegedly previously sexually exploited provides direct support for the search for child pornography. Where an affidavit states, inter alia, that a defendant has taken sexually explicit photographs of a minor, the affidavit supports a search for child pornography, the court stated, citing United States v. Payne, 341 F.3d 393, 401 (5th Cir. 2003). Second, the affidavit contains sufficient information that an officer reasonably could rely on a judge’s probable-cause determination that Flanders’ home computer and electronic storage contained child pornography. The affidavit provided information that established Flanders’ home as a probable site for his possession of child pornography, the court stated. The officers’ reliance on the warrant, supported by the affidavit, was objectively reasonable and the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied to render the evidence admissible, regardless of the validity of the warrant, the court stated. OPINION:Smith, J.; Smith, Garza and Clement, J.J.

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