California Criminal Defense Law Firm Wallin & Klarich Seeks Court Order to Obtain Electronic Communications from Facebook, MySpace

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A former school principal was accused of alleged sexual offenses against two former students during his tenure at a private school. The law offices of Wallin & Klarich, along with attorney Robert C. Kasenow, II, have filed motions to the trial court and California Court of Appeal asking to compel Facebook and MySpace to produce any alleged transmitted information between the two accusers. The information sought after in the petition could possibly exonerate the defendant altogether based on evidence that could call into question the credibility of his accusers. All motions thus far have been denied. The defendant is facing life imprisonment if convicted.

This begs the question as to why the pair denied knowing each other to law enforcement officials and whether or not any sort of communicative exchanges were made via the social networking websites in regard to specifics of the accusations.

A former school principal was accused of alleged sexual offenses against two former students during his tenure at a private school (Asher v. Los Angeles Superior Court: Pending California Supreme Court: No. S173901).

The law offices of Wallin & Klarich, along with attorney Robert C. Kasenow, II, have filed motions to the trial court and California Court of Appeal asking to compel Facebook and MySpace to produce any alleged transmitted information between the two accusers. The information sought after in the petition could possibly exonerate the defendant altogether based on evidence that could call into question the credibility of his accusers. All motions thus far have been denied. The defendant is facing life imprisonment if convicted.

"Despite the fact that the investigating officers reported in the police report that the students both told police officers that they did not know one another, and had not discussed their respective allegations with one another prior to speaking with police, the two students both have MySpace accounts and are 'friends' with each other on Facebook," said Senior Partner Paul J. Wallin. "This begs the question as to why the pair denied knowing each other to law enforcement officials and whether or not any sort of communicative exchanges were made via the social networking websites in regard to specifics of the accusations."

Under the Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 2702-2703), social networking sites and email account providers are barred from releasing electronic communications sent by users or subscribers in response to criminal subpoenas or court orders obtained by criminal defendants or their attorneys. These statutes provide that such social networking and e-mail account providers may only reply to search warrants obtained by prosecutors and law enforcement officers, or if the account holder gives them authorization to release the information. However, the defense argues that this act is in direct conflict with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all criminal defendants the rights to have a "compulsory process" for obtaining witnesses and evidence for his or her defense.

Anyone interested in joining the Supreme Court petition or assisting by preparing a brief to the California Supreme Court in support of their cause, please contact their office today. Call 877-466-5245 and ask to speak with Paul Wallin.

Wallin & Klarich is a California criminal defense law firm that helps people accused of criminal charges in the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Visit http://www.wklaw.com/ for more information.

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