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Justiniano sentenced to prison for possession of child porn

Josue Rivera (AKA Justiniano)

Josue Rivera, better known to comics fans as the artist Justiano, was sentenced this morning in Connecticut to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, suspended after he serves three years. That will be followed by 10 years probation.

The Creeper artist pleaded guilty in July to second-degree possession of child pornography following a 2010 incident in which he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified by police as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found additional files of suspected child pornography.

Although the 39-year-old artist claimed at one point he had only been looking at the photos because he was bored, the Connecticut Post reports the files included the head of Rivera’s 10-year-old niece Photoshopped onto the nude body of a girl having oral sex.

When asked this morning by the judge whether he had anything to say, the newspaper reports Rivera responded, “I think I’m good.”

He initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. But then in June a judge denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. The judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home director.

As Justiniano, Rivera had penciled such titles as DC Comics’ The Creeper, Day of Vengeance and Countdown to Mystery, as well as Chaos! Comics’ Chastity: Rocked and Evil Ernie: Straight to Hell.

Artist Justiniano pleads guilty to child-porn charge

Josue Rivera (AKA Justiniano)

Josue Rivera, better known to comics fans as the artist Justiano, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree possession of child pornography, more than two years after a thumb drive containing dozens of images was dropped off at a funeral home by mistake. He could face at least two years in prison.

The news arrives from Eye on Comics, which has been following recent developments in the case. An online search of Connecticut Superior Court records confirms the guilty plea.

Rivera was arrested in May 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, following a July 2010 incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography.

He initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. But then last month a judge denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. The judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home director.

According to Connecticut law, “A person is guilty of possessing child pornography in the second degree when such person knowingly possesses twenty or more but fewer than fifty visual depictions of child pornography.”

As Justiniano, Rivera had penciled such titles as DC Comics’ The Creeper, Day of Vengeance and Countdown to Mystery, as well as Chaos! Comics’ Chastity: Rocked and Evil Ernie: Straight to Hell. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.

Comics A.M. | Judge refuses to suppress evidence in Justiniano case

Josue Rivera (aka Justiniano)

Legal | Don MacPherson, who covers the courts for his daily newspaper, updates the case of Josue Rivera, aka comic artist Justiniano, who pleaded not guilty in May 2011 to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut following a July 2010 incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. A judge has denied a motion to suppress the thumb drive, which Rivera’s attorney had argued was obtained by police through an illegal, warrantless search. However, the judge ruled the search valid, as the material on the drive was brought to the attention of the police by a third party, the funeral home. MacPherson’s summary of court documents provides more details on the case. [Eye on Comics]

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Comics A.M. | Justiniano pleads not guilty; Burkle loads up on B&N stock

Josue Rivera (aka Justiniano)

Crime | Josue Rivera, the comic artist known as Justiniano, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut on May 10 following a July incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera’s computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. On Tuesday, the 38-year-old artist pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. [Connecticut Post]

Retailing | Days after it was announced that media conglomerate Liberty Media offered $1 billion to buy Barnes & Noble, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has revealed he bought another 603,000 shares at $18.49 a share, raising his stake in the bookseller to 19.74 percent. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Burkle, already the book chain’s largest shareholder, may be “playing a potentially dangerous game of chicken to force a takeover price for Barnes & Noble even higher.” [Deal Journal]

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