In November 2017 I blogged on the topic of talking to the police. In that blog, I explained it’s rarely advisable to speak with the police about your criminal case. Regardless of whether you’ve yet been arrested, it’s usually in your best interest to remain silent and to not talk with the police until you’ve consulted with your lawyer. Some recent arrests underscore why you shouldn’t talk with the police in connection with your sex crime case.
Seventeen men ranging in age from 19 to 77, including two Disney employees and a former middle school principal, were arrested in November 2019 in connection with a child pornography investigation in Polk County, Florida. The operation, called “Guardians of Innocence IV: Fall Haul 2019,” was conducted by undercover detectives and a computer crimes team. Many of the arrests resulted from referrals from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Among those arrested was Brett Kinney, aged 40. Mr. Kinney was a guest experience manager at Disney World, where he had worked for the last 15 years. Kinney was charged with 24 counts of possession of child pornography. Mr. Kinney told the officers he was addicted to child pornography and had been viewing it for 22 years.
While Mr. Kinney might have thought his comments to the police might help him, instead they most likely harmed his case. His statements indicate he had a very long-term child pornography addiction which, due to its two decade duration, would be difficult to treat. Because of his long-term pornography addiction, the prosecutor and/or the judge in Mr. Kinney’s case would be very concerned about his risk of reoffending after his arrest. To manage the risk of Mr. Kinney reoffending, they would be inclined to seek a lengthier prison and probationary term than if he were at a lower risk of reoffending. So, Mr. Kinney’s well-intended statement to police provided a basis for a longer prison term in his case. Continue reading