LONDON — Attorney Myles Jackman, after winning a case on behalf of a U.K. man charged with possession of child pornography, said that there is evidence mounting that the Crown Prosecution Service may be institutionally homophobic.
Jackman made statements about the CPS after the Crown Court tossed the man's case Friday.
The man was arrested and later indicted over accessing a number of twink gay porn websites he subscribed to at a hotel, said Jackman, counsel with London's Hodge Jones & Allen LLP.
Jackman said that despite the fact that he told prosecutors that all the performers in question were over the age of 18 and that he and an expert witness confirmed that the sites in question accessed by the man complied with the 18 U.S.C. § 2257 under U.S. law, the government continued to pursue the case.
"Despite [offering 2257 records of all performers in the sites accessed by the defendant], the prosecution has always maintained that it was a matter for a jury to decide the age of the performers," Jackman said. "However, we were able to prove how old the performers were. In spite of this the police and prosecution consistently failed to make further inquiries regarding the source and context of the images.
"Unfortunately, the prosecution in this case refused meaningfully to engage with the evidence we supplied," he said.
As trial was to begin, however, prosecutors dropped the case. The CPS, in its explanation to the defendant and the court, said the office had no intention to offer any evidence at trial.
Jackman, in a published piece in the Independent, called the indicted man's experience "the worst that an individual can face."
"The injustice is this case in compounded by the fact that we irrefutably proved to the prosecution, many months ago, that all the performers in the images in question were over the age of 18," Jackman said in the Indepedent. "Thus this was legitimate adult pornography. No offences had been committed.
"Yet, perversely, this intrusive, misguided and illiberal prosecution was allowed to continue until the eve of a jury trial. Just imagine the potential impact that such an accusation could have on someone’s life, career and relationships."
Jackson said that "this behavior from the prosecuting authorities raises significant civil liberties issues regarding the state’s right to intrude on the freedoms of an individual; proportional response; indiscriminate bureaucracy; and the spectre of homophobia."
"Having also represented Michael Peacock in his 'obscenity' trial and Simon Walsh in his 'porn' trial, it is with extreme regret that I have begun to form the view that the CPS suffers from institutional homophobia.
"This investigative failure by police, in conjunction with the prosecution’s failure to review its own evidence in the face of irrefutable evidence not only seems to amounts to an abuse of the court process, but, as the prosecution appeared baseless, there is the question as to whether it was malicious."