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OTTAWA — A Peru man charged with child pornography has decided not to take his chances before a jury.
Lance A. Greathouse, 28, of Peru was scheduled for jury trial Monday on two counts of aggravated child pornography, a Class 2 felony carrying 3-7 years.
Friday, however, Greathouse advised Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia that he would waive his right to a jury trial and present his case before her. With several pending cases still set for a jury, Raccuglia moved Greathouse’s case to March 11. The request was not altogether unexpected.
First, child pornography is by nature an inflammatory subject and many defense attorneys prefer to let a seen-it-all judge decide guilt or innocence rather than leave it to a jury of 12.
Second, Greathouse allegedly acquired the pornographic images using file exchange software and the evidentiary hearings to date have been technical in nature. Raccuglia appears better equipped to grapple with the technical issues than some jurors.
Finally, prosecutor Jeremiah Adams and defense attorney Jeffery Kendall have argued extensively over what evidence is admissible. In open court Friday, Kendall noted his concerns include whether a jury would react negatively to a series of defense objections, should admissibility continue to be an issue at trial.
Greathouse was charged in 2010 after a statewide investigation, “Operation Glass House,” in which investigators monitored more than 8,000 Internet protocol addresses watching for the transmission of online child pornography.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or courtreporter @newstrib.com.
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