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January 2021
Tim Bilecki

Bilecki’s Digital Forensic Examination Clears Navy NCO in Child Porn Case

Possession of Child Pornography
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
Navy Chief Petty Officer – E-7
Charges withdrawn and dismissed a week before Article 32.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) began an investigation into a Chief Petty Officer stationed in Hawaii after remnants of child pornography were found on his personal computer.  Court martial defense attorney Tim Bilecki was retained and immediately began working with our digital forensic examiner, William Oettinger.  Mr. Oettinger spoke with a Defense Computer Forensics Lab’s (DCFL) examiner and learned that remnants from a Twitter post had been cashed on our client’s computer.  Mr. Oettinger was able to forensically test and show that thumbnail images could be cached onto a computer by simply scrolling down a Twitter feed without a user ever knowing it. Our results were also replicated by the DCFL, and Mr. Bilecki used these findings to have a lengthy discussion with the prosecution team, who went through and dismissed the charges after preferral, but before the Article 32 hearing.

This case proved to be a prime example of why it is important to hire a defense team with computer forensic resources and hire them early.  Without the work of our digital forensic examiner and knowing how to utilize those findings early, this case could have taken a dramatically different turn. Fortunately, the prosecution team here was very reasonable and agreed with the offense that the Chief Petty Officer never intended to possess and perhaps never even viewed any illegal images.

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