Appeals court tosses man’s conviction on child pornography charges

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GOSHEN – The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has reversed the conviction of a Newburgh man, who was found guilty in Orange County Court on 16 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and 15 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. The appeals court also dismissed the indictment against Miguel Vasquez, 49, who had been found guilty after a nonjury trial by Orange County Court Judge Robert Freehill.
Vasquez testified through a Spanish interpreter, claiming that, although he understands “quite a bit” of English, he “made many mistakes” during the interrogation, which was conducted in English, the appeals court decision said.
He testified he was not the sole user of the computer, he did not download the child pornography, and he only learned of its existence when he was interviewed by police. He said he made incriminating statements to detectives, which were reduced to writing, because he thought that was what they wanted to her and he was attempting to protect a family member.
Vasquez also produced time sheets from his employer, which indicated that when at least two of the alleged videos were downloaded he was at work. He also presented testimony of a family member who acknowledged having unintentionally downloading videos containing child pornography. That family member admitted to being the only member of the household who used the computer program that was used to download the illicit materials.