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Ex-A&O partner faces new child porn charges

Ex-A&O partner faces new child porn charges

Charged with distributing child pornography last year, a former Allen & Overy partner at the firm’s New York office was arrested again on Thursday (23 August) for new child pornography offences.

Edward De Sear, 65, faces three counts of advertising child pornography, four counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, according the US attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey.

De Sear worked in the firm’s capital markets group at the time of his 2011 arrest for one count of distribution of child pornography, for which he was released on a US$250,000 bond. He was taken into custody on 23 August in light of the nature of the additional charges.

The US Attorney’s office has claimed that De Sear used Allen & Overy’s wireless internet network to view the images and, during one of the sessions, distributed multiple child pornography files to an undercover law enforcement agent.

The 21-page indictment document, which is unsealed, accused De Sear of using an internet-based peer-to-peer file-sharing program to advertise, distribute and download hundreds of images of child pornography. The ex-lawyer allegedly used a picture of a young boy as his avatar and invited individuals with usernames that contained terms such as “boy”, “child”, and “little” to join his peer-to-peer network.

De Sear also used the network’s chat function to make specific offers to distribute and display child pornography, stated the indictment. In a 2011 chat message sent by De Sear to an individual with the username boycuddle2, the accused allegedly wrote: “best are guys who have kids of their own to share ... there is a network of those guys”, but it is “hard to get into that club without a kid”.

If convicted, he faces up to 180 years in prison and up to $2 million in fines, revealed the US Attorney’s office.

De Sear is being represented by law firm Critchley Kinum and Vazquez.

Prior to joining Allen & Overy in 2010, he worked as a partner at a number of law firms including Bingham McCutchen, McKee Nelson and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

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Ex-A&O partner faces new child porn charges
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