U.S. Supreme Court rules against area man in child porn case


The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a Madison County man who claimed police violated the Fourth Amendment when they discovered more than 170,000 images of child pornography on his personal computer.

By doing so, the justices upheld an eight-year prison sentence of Donald Lemasters of London.

A state court of appeals last year ruled that while the Fourth Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable search and seizure, Lemasters had no reasonable expectation of privacy when he downloads information or photos from a subscriber.

The justices did not make any comment, but simply refused to hear Lemasters’ appeal. Lemasters pleaded no contest in 2012 to charges that he downloaded photos of nude children, with some involved in sexual acts. There was no evidence that Lemasters took any of the photos himself.

In 2011, a detective with a task force that investigates use of child pornography photos in the area asked a judge for an investigative subpoena to determine the user of an IP address suspected of downloading children’s pornography.

After learning the IP address belonged to Lemasters, Madison County sheriff officers obtained a search warrant and discovered the images on Lemasters’ computer and DVDs he had made from the images he downloaded.

In a separate case from Ohio, the justices vacated a ruling last year by the Ohio Supreme Court that upheld a 10-year mandatory sentence of David Willan of Akron for mortgage and securities violations.

The justices ruled that the state’s high court needed to consider a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that a mandatory sentence needs to be considered by a jury before it can be imposed.

Andrea Whitaker, an attorney for Willan, said the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court could lead to a much shorter sentence for Willan.


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