Schaumburg man acquitted after child porn got mixed up in WWII downloads
A Cook County judge found a Schaumburg man not guilty of the child pornography charges that have dogged him for nearly three years.
"There was no evidence to suggest the defendant intended to possess child pornography," said Judge Thomas Fecarotta, who acquitted Wocjciech Florczykowski Wednesday after a bench trial in which computer experts from both sides acknowledged they found no sign Florczykowski ever searched for any kind of pornography.
"This stuff came to him unintentionally and forensic evidence supported that," said defense attorney Lawrence Lykowski. "We're glad the judge saw the truth of the matter and made his finding accordingly."
Prosecution expert Mike Theis -- of the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Chicago where examiners locate deleted or encrypted information from electronic devices -- testified he found no evidence Florczykowski searched any child pornography databases, websites, buddy lists or news groups. Theis also testified it is possible for someone searching for and downloading information on a subject to receive unsolicited pornographic images.
That is what Florczykowski said happened when he downloaded information on World War II ordnance to his work laptop in August 2011. Testifying in his own defense, Florczykowski, a 40-year-old electrical engineer, described himself as a history buff with an interest in World War II, specifically battlefield memorabilia. In pursuit of that hobby, Florczykowski said he occasionally travels to battlefields in Poland where he and other military history buffs use metal detectors to unearth everything from medals and canteens to shells, grenades and unexploded land mines.
He testified he was using a program called uTorrent (which enables users to share large files) to research explosives on a laptop supplied to him by his former employer DLS Electronic Systems in Wheeling and inadvertently downloaded pornography.
"What I discovered was completely disgusting. I was not looking for this stuff," he said, adding that he moved the offensive images and other unwanted material to a folder he intended to delete but was fired from his job before he could do so.
Discovering information on explosives on the laptop, his supervisors alerted federal authorities.
"The FBI descended on his home. They brought in bomb-sniffing dogs and an explosives team because the search terms were suspected of indicating possible terrorist activity," said Lykowski, who said his client cooperated in the investigation, which resulted in no federal charges.
A relieved Florczykowski shook hands with his attorneys after Fecarotta's ruling but did not comment. The case confirmed that the Internet is a scary place, said co-defense counsel Mike McGuire.
"If anything is learned in this case, it's beware of what you download," McGuire said.