WTNH-TV Meteorologist Justin Goldstein was arrested Tuesday and charged with child pornography possession.

According to Connecticut State Police, the New Haven, Connecticut weatherman was taken into custody at the television broadcasting station when he was charged with one count of promoting a minor in an obscene performance and first-degree possession of child pornography.

Connecticut state police have arrested a local television meteorologist on child porn charges. Credit: NBC Connecticut.

The FBI granted the warrant for the 33-year-old’s arrest, Homeland Security Investigations and Hamden Police Department with the help of an internet account which investigators had been tracking since June, containing downloaded child pornography which was registered under Goldstein’s name. His computer and other devices were seized on Wednesday from his Hamden home.

Goldstein was released after having posted a $200,000 bond, and his hearing is set for 26 July. The General-Manager of WTNH-TV, Mark Higgins, reported on Wednesday: “We are deeply concerned by the allegations. Until the matter is resolved, Justin Goldstein is suspended from his duties at WTNH.” The network has suspended Goldstein and removed all references to him, including his biography, from the site.

Federal law on child pornography

The US Department of Justice defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving any person under the age of 18. These visual representations include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images identical to an actual minor. The images may be created, adapted and modified but are still a criminal offense if they appear to depict an actual, identifiable minor. The undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape and electronically stored data convertible into a visual image of child pornography is also considered illegal visual depictions under federal law.

Furthermore, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct is not limited to a picture displaying a child engaging in sexual activity. Any picture of a child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Whether or not the child gave his/her consent along with the age of consent for sexual activity in a particular state is irrelevant: any depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit or sufficiently suggestive conduct is illegal.

Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce. A first-time offender convicted of producing child pornography will be subject to fines and a statutory minimum of 15 to 30 years maximum incarceration.

A first-time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce may face fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison.

If the child pornography offense occurred in the following aggravated situations: (i) the images are violent, sadistic, or masochistic in nature, (ii) the minor was sexually abused, or (iii) the offender has prior convictions for child sexual exploitation, the offender is liable to face harsher penalties, one of which includes life imprisonment.

The severity of Goldstein’s charges are yet to be determined.

Source: My San Antonio