On January 5, 2007, a jury in Norwich, Connecticut found Julie Amero, 40, guilty on four felony counts of injury or risk of injury to, or impairing the morals of, children. Ms. Amero, a substitute teacher with no prior criminal record, faces up to 40 years in prison.
The charges stem from an incident on October 19, 2004, when Ms. Amero was working as a substitute at Kelly Middle School. During class, Ms. Amero’s computer screen was flooded with pornographic images of “naked men and women, sexual acts, and bodily fluids.”1 At least ten minor students testified to having seen the images, while several claimed that she attempted to push their faces away from the screen.2
At trial, Ms. Amero claimed that she was the victim of malware, malicious software that caused uncontrollable pornographic pop-ups. A defense expert testified to having found malware on the computer that had been in place for more than a month, long before Ms. Amero had arrived at the school. The prosecution, who admitted that they’d never checked the computer for malware, insisted that Ms. Amero was intentionally surfing the internet for pornographic material during class.
Ms. Amero is set to be sentenced March 2.
- Lindsay Beyerstein, “Questionable Conviction of Connecticut Teacher in Pop-up Porn Case,” AlterNet.org,19 January 2007, accessed 25 January 2007, <www.alternet.org/rights/46925/>.
- Greg Smith, “Teacher Guilty in Norwich Porn Case,” Norwich Bulletin, 8 January 2007, accessed 29 January 2007, <http://www.norwichbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=