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Friday, June 2, 2017

Downloading a Nightmare: When Autism, Child Pornography and the Courts Collide - By Anat Rubin


Downloading a Nightmare
When autism, child pornography and the courts collide.

 

The Raid 

Just two hours before the SWAT team surrounded their home on a quiet Midwestern suburban street, Joseph’s parents were sitting together at church, saying thanks for the immense progress their autistic son had recently made. After decades of struggling with a debilitating developmental disability, Joseph—we’re using his middle name to protect his privacy—was beginning to find his place in the world. At 25, he had a full-time job and was getting ready to move out on his own. 

The details of that Tuesday evening in 2012—where they sat in the empty church, the light through the stained glass windows—might have been lost in the usual blur of memories if not for the fact that they represent, for Joseph’s parents, the last moments of their life before. And everything for the family is now divided into before and after—two distinct worlds separated by armed men banging on the front door. 

“They showed up at about 8 o’clock and by 8:10 we were all in handcuffs,” said Joseph’s dad. “Camouflage, bulletproof vests, helmets, assaults pistols. It was a military operation—there’s no other way to describe it.”