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Porn pop-up teacher gets new attorney, PC World outs juror

Julie Amero, substitute teacher and convicted porn-pop up purveyor, has finally gotten a tiny break in her favor. Connecticut criminal defense lawyer William Dow has stepped in and offered help to Julie Amero. The Norwich Bulletin -- the same paper that did such a terrible job of covering the case up to this point, convicting Julie Amero in print and circulating its uneducated drivel to a technophobic and Internet illiterate readership -- reports that Dow has offered pro-bono assistance to Mrs. Amero and will likely file a formal request for postponement of her March 3rd sentencing in order to review the facts of the case. Dow is a well respected criminal defense attorney who, according to Amero's lead attorney John Cocheo, has joined the team because, "he sees it as an injustice that this happened. I think it's a moral issue for him."

Speaking of moral issues; PC World's Steve Bass made a bit of a miscalculation and outted the partial identity of Fred F. a juror in the Amero trial. The email interview in which the juror's screenname was released was initiated by Fred F. who failed to follow Lincoln's famous rule, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool; Rather than open it and remove all doubt." I'll let Fred F.'s own words and lack of punctuation speak the volumes that I dare not say.


"she was pronounced guilty because she made no effort to hide or stop the porno, not just because she loaded the porno onto the machine. Going to the history pages it was obvious that the paged were clicked on they were not the result of pop-ups."

That statement is in direct conflict with the testimony on record. Amero did everything short of turning off the computer, which she was instructed by a superior not to do. The children from her class testified -- right in front of this juror -- that she did make every effort to hide what was being displayed. He also seems to have picked up the same in-depth knowledge of Internet Explorer possessed by the Norwich police computer expert, which could be defined as; little to none.

Fred's obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed but, can you blame him? After all, he's a product of the same Connecticut school system that's teaching kids it's OK to send an innocent woman to jail in order to cover your own incompetence.

USAToday writer Andrew Kantor went one step further, releasing pictures of a portly Fred F. on his personal blog after publishing a scathing piece condemning the school system and the Norwich police department. For certain, this case has gotten ugly. In some instances, it's even become deeply personal. Fred F. has reportedly been berated by an angry public, and been the subject of ridicule for his former 435 pound plus frame, since the public outing.

Amero's husband has set up a blog and is asking for your help covering his wife's legal fees, reportedly in-excess of $20,000 (easily more than a Connecticut substitute teacher makes in a year). He writes, "To think that it is possible for the average layperson to understand all the ins and outs of how a computer works is just not reasonable. What's worse, our employer's don't know any more than we do, and they rely on us to identify problems when they happen. If you are lucky, your employer will know what to do when a crisis happens with your system. If not you'll end up like Julie arrested, ridiculed, demeaned and left with useless teacher's degree in special education."

I don't agree with his statement that it's "not reasonable" to expect the layperson to have some basic understanding of Internet threats and staying safe online however, massaging a lack of knowledge into a felony conviction is more than prosecution; It's persecution.

Amero's husband is also offering up the phone numbers and email addresses for Principal Scott Fain and Superintendent Pam Aubin, who should both be charged with criminal negligence for allowing the Kelly Middle School's lack of Internet-security to ruin the life of an innocent woman. Also on the list is Norwich police "Detective" Mark Lounsbury, the department's not-so-expert computer expert who testified under oath that there was no question Amero had visited the porn pop-up websites on purpose, and offered no information to the jury about malware or spyware being in any way culpable. Unfortunately, it's a bit late to give Lounsbury a lesson in computer security or forensics, at least where Julie Amero is concerned.

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