Monday, July 20, 2009

Trial Begins for Former Deputy Milton Pruitt Accused of Having Child Porn

The Federal Court trial of a former Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy accused of receiving and possessing child pornography began Monday in U.S. District Court in Gainesville.

Prosecutor Brent Gray in his opening argument told the jury the reason they are in court is because former Deputy Sergeant Milton Scott Pruitt said he was 'just curious'; the problem is, he was just curious two years ago about child pornography.

Gray said Pruitt is accused of opening and viewing images of unclothed children from criminal investigative files he should not have opened using a sheriff’s laptop computer in his patrol car.

Investigators later found hundreds of child porn images on his home computer.
Gray invited the jury of eight women and six men to study the evidence, use their common sense and find Pruitt guilty.

Defense attorney Ann Fitz urged the jury to find Pruitt innocent, saying this is not the case of a pedophile with a fetish.

Fitz said there is no evidence that Pruitt purchased, solicited or produced child porn and that only 20 of the 328 images were clearly identified as child pornography. Fitz added that there is no evidence Pruitt made repeat visits to the porno sites and that he did not 'knowingly' receive the images.

The prosecution's first witness as the trial opened was Forsyth County's Information Technology Director John David Rusk.

Rusk testified he found child pornography images linked to Pruitt while investigating unusual activity on the county's computer system.

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