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A Utah child psychiatrist, whose license was suspended over child pornography charges in 2013, saw the cased dismissed last week.
David Ford Wilson, 45, had been accused of accessing child pornography through his work computer at Ogden's McKay-Dee Hospital more than three years ago, and was charged in 2nd District Court with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, on Sept. 9, 2013, court documents show.
But on Thursday, Judge Scott Hadley ruled in favor of the defense, which had filed a motion to dismiss the case.
"After reviewing the foregoing facts, the court does not feel that the state has produced believable evidence of the 15 counts," according to a docket entry on the case.
Prosecutors alleged that Wilson had intentionally viewed 15 images depicting child pornography after the images were found cached in the hard drive of his computer.
His license to practice as a osteopathic physician was suspended on Aug. 27, 2013, in light of the allegations, and he was ordered to "immediately cease and desist from the practice of medicine," according to an emergency order issued by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Wilson was fired from the hospital on April 30, 2013, according to a 2013 Weber County Sheriff's Office news release.
But during a June evidentiary hearing, a computer forensics expert testified that the 15 images were stored in "unallocated space" on Wilson's computer meaning they weren't saved under any file name and there was no record of how long they had been on the computer, who was on the computer when they were created, or whether they had ever actually been viewed by the computer's user.
A computer's proxy log generally records "all internet activity," the expert testified, according to court records, including information from pages that were "accessed on purpose" and information from pages that "popped up inadvertently ... includ[ing] any kind of spam or advertisements, banners."
"It's all automatically being cached," the expert testified, according to court documents. "... If a site is visited, you will see the activity."
But the proxy log in Wilson's computer could not be directly linked to any of the 15 images in question, the expert said.
Computers may also record information from links on a portal site even if they are never clicked on or accessed by the computer's user, the expert said, and there is no evidence that Wilson clicked on or visited child pornography sites.
"It is not enough for the state to simply claim that [Wilson] may have visited some questionable websites," according to a memorandum filed by Wilson's defense.