Appeals court vindicates detective's work in scuffle over computers, hard drives, nude man, and webcams
COLUMBIA, 7/24/11 (Beat Byte) -- A Missouri appellate court has sided with Boone County Sheriff's Department (BCSD) detective and Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force (MMICTF, now the BCSD Cyber Crimes Task Force) coordinator Andy Anderson in a 2008 child sexual misconduct case.
After a Boone County judge and jury found him guilty and sentenced him to four years, Daniel Mauchenheimer appealed, partly basing his argument on the idea that Anderson might have tampered with Mauchenheimer's computer hard drive, used to prove his involvement on a Yahoo chat board during a MMICTF sting operation, the appellate brief detailed.
On October 8, 2008, Anderson was in the Yahoo chat room posing as a fourteen-year-old Columbia girl with the screen name "sadmogirl" when he received a private message from Mauchenheimer using the screen name "abcglen" and a profile as a thirty-eight-year-old male in St. Louis.
Mauchenheimer described himself sitting naked at the computer, asked if "sadmogirl" wanted to see him naked, and later, exposed himself on the webcam both naked -- and masturbating. "I would want to have sex with you. If I was your age," Mauchenheimer told Anderson's underaged alter-ego.
After further investigation and confirmation of Mauchenheimer's online identity, St. Louis County Police arrested him and seized his computer. On March 25, 2010, Mauchenheimer filed a motion seeking the computer's hard drive, alleging that copies of the chat transcripts taken from Detective Anderson's computer and provided to the defense were incomplete.
Anderson testified that he did not alter any information in the Internet chats before turning them over, and that he did not have the capability to do so regardless. He also testified that all Internet chats he had with Mauchenheimer were turned over for the defense.
The trial court denied Mauchenheimer's motion to access Anderson's computer, and although he admitted the sexually-explicit chats and that he exposed himself to "sadmogirl," Mauchenheimer later appealed his conviction, claiming that denial of his motion seeking access to Anderson's hard drive violated his due process rights.
The appellate court sided with the original verdict, vindicating Detective Anderson's work.