Judicial Watch • Judge Soft On ACLU Atty. In Child Porn Case

Judge Soft On ACLU Atty. In Child Porn Case

Judge Soft On ACLU Atty. In Child Porn Case

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

A federal judge acknowledged that a former president of a liberal civil rights group possessed child pornography of the â??most abhorrent kindâ? but still issued a light prison sentence because the American Civil Liberties Union attorney had an â??otherwise exemplary life.â?

The attorney (Charles Rust-Tierney) who for 12 years served as president of the ACLUâ??s Virginia chapter, paid hundreds of dollars to subscribe to multiple illegal child pornography web sites and police found more than 800 still images and 36 videos in his possession when they arrested him.

Over the years Rust-Tierney downloaded numerous disturbing hardcore videos of kids–some as young as six years old–and disgusted authorities said he had a vast collection of the worst child pornography they had ever seen.

Despite the atrocious evidence, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis went easy during the recent sentencing hearing, giving Rust-Tierney one year less than the minimum sentence suggested under federal guidelines. Judge Ellis sentenced Rust-Tierney to only seven years in prison after giving him credit for what he said was an otherwise exemplary life that included decades of public service.

Appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan, Judge Ellis made headlines last year for overturning a jury verdict against a military contractor that defrauded the government out of millions of dollars by submitting false and inflated invoices.

The fraud was exposed by a whistleblower under federal whistleblower laws and the Fairfax Virginia-based military contractor (Custer Battles) was found guilty of violating the False Claim Act, the single most important tool U.S. taxpayers have to recover the billions of dollars stolen through fraud by government contractors.

In overturning the juryâ??s verdict, Ellis claimed that the government entity (Coalition Provisional Authority or CPA) that actually contracted Custer Battles did not qualify as the U.S. government and therefore the False Claim Act didnâ??t apply. The now defunct CPA was formed by the U.S. government after the 2003 Iraq invasion to run country until a government was established and was controlled and funded by the federal government.

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