OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The state Supreme Court has ruled that defendants accused of possessing multiple images of child pornography can only be prosecuted for a single offense, not multiple counts based on the number of images or children involved.
The court decision Thursday upheld an appeals court ruling ordering a new sentencing in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for Randy Sutherby on a single count. He had originally been convicted of 10.
The Supreme Court says the proper unit for child pornography prosecution is one count per possession, rather than for each image or each child. The court separately reversed Sutherby's convictions for child
rape and child molestation, because his lawyer was ineffective. He had been accused of assaulting a 5-year-old girl in 2004. Investigators found pictures in his computer.