Korn Asserts Innocence

Filed in National by on January 22, 2013

I got this in the email yesterday or the day before. Who remembers? Anyway, here is a press release from Out of the Box Communications, which is a political consulting firm that I suppose Korn has retained, and which is also a firm that at one time Korn either worked for, ran, or had a financial interest in (but that is all really irrelevant). What is relevant is the statement, and you will notice something interesting…

Political Consultant Richard Korn asserted today that he is fully innocent of child pornography charges filed against him a few days ago. Korn and his ex-wife Magda, a computer systems expert, have been battling various aspects of their bitter divorce including custody issues. They have two children, [name redacted], age four and [name redacted], age two.

“I am completely and utterly innocent of these charges,” avowed Korn, a lobbyist and former candidate for political office. “I have two young daughters who I love more than life itself. Child pornography is disgusting and abhorrent to me. I look forward to a thorough investigation which will exonerate me from these very serious charges.”

Korn has retained Delaware Criminal Attorney Thomas A. Foley to represent him.[...]

Mitch Crane, former elected District Judge in Chester County, PA. and 2012 candidate for State Insurance Commissioner to whom Korn was a campaign consultant, stated on the Delaware Liberal Blog that “Knowing no more than I have read, I draw no conclusions other than there is a reason to doubt…. He gave much sage advice, some of which I followed, some of which I did not follow. I lost my election by 1100 votes. I did not lose because of his involvement. I came close due to his involvement. I urge everyone not to rush to judgment until all the facts are revealed in court.”

I am not sure if I were Mitch I would allow myself to be quoted in defense of Korn. And the reason I say that is not to be cold blooded and cruel hearted. Like I said in the original story thread, Korn is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, in the court of public opinion, he is guilty until proven innocent. With respect to these types of alleged crimes, i.e. child pornography or child abuse / molestation, the public opinion aspect of the innocence/guilt equation is just brutal. His political career will never be the same, if it remains alive at all, regardless of whether he is innocent or not. That is just the way it is.

And because of that, if he is innocent of these charges, and if Magda Korn or someone connected to her or connected to the nasty divorce between her and Richard Korn is responsible for the pictures being found on his computer, then Korn should go after them with the largest civil defamation lawsuit ever filed in the history of Delaware.

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  1. liberalgeek says:

    Out of the Box is Richard Korn’s firm. He is one of two principals.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    I guess he removed himself from the “About Us” page on the firm’s website. Thanks, Geek.

  3. puck says:

    We should not assume illegal pictures were even found. Korn needs to conduct his own forensic investigation of the computer, which he probably doesn’t even have access to yet. It is odd that only 25 pictures were “found,” and that possession charges weren’t mentioned. It is very likely that most of the counts will evaporate.

  4. SussexWatcher says:

    I noticed that he threw his kids’ names out there for no apparent reason, now to live forever in Google searches as kids of an accused child porn guy. Classy, Richard.

  5. Jason330 says:

    “a bitter divorce including custody issues”

    …should give the court of public opinion pause.

  6. Delaware Dem says:

    That’s true. You know what, I am going to redact their names.

  7. Delaware Dem says:

    @Jason, it does give me pause.

  8. SussexWatcher says:

    Possible: His wife planted the images.

    Just as possible: His wife found the images and reported them.

    We won’t know the truth until it goes to trial, if it does, but the DSP high-tech crimes people are darn good at what they do. If the images were planted, they’d have found out.

  9. puck says:

    Also possible: There are no illegal images.

    Twenty-five images seems to be a popular number for Delaware authorities to find – what’s up with that? Is there some sentencing guideline that provides an incentive to find 25 images?

  10. PainesMe says:

    Puck –

    Seems a bit of a stretch to assume that the authorities arrested Korn without something substantial. The final tally of charges will likely change, but it’s almost definitely more substantial than “no illegal images”, at least.

    In the realm of possibility, I think this theory lives in the “conspiracy bordering on lunacy” neighborhood.

  11. Geezer says:

    Puck: Nice detective work. It is indeed odd, at the least, that so many of these cases involve exactly 25 images.

    PainesMe: I think it was Puck who, in the first post on Korn last week, linked to a Google search of people acquitted of such charges in recent years. Your attitude is why it’s so hard to get a fair trial in this country.

  12. puck says:

    These LE technical teams are not used to being challenged by real technical experts. Their whole method is geared toward indigent suspects who can’t afford a good defense. They aren’t used to dealing with one of the most litigious bastards in Delaware, plus a top lawyer.

    Evidence is collected with a very cursory scan done by off-the-shelf softwware; in this case it was done over a weekend. The preview scan doesn’t identify when the images were put on or how they got there. A serious forensic investigation takes several weeks, and may or may not show who put the images on the computer. Korn needs to get on that right away.

    There is also a subjective component about whether the images meet the definition of illegal. If there is some magic about 25 images, that may provide an incentive to stretch the definitions.

    Again, Korn may be guilty as hell, but I am very suspicious of prosecutors’ methods.

  13. puck says:

    Geezer – people are rarely acquitted; more often the charges are dropped when a robust defense is presented.

    The public attitude is explained by the emotional abhorrence of child porn, plus an utter ignorance about how computers work. And prosecutors take advantage of both.

  14. V says:

    Here’s a question I’m unsure how to find the answer to. Is there something about 25 counts that affects the length of sentence if convicted? or some sort of prosecutorial strategy for charging that amount as opposed to 24? or 27?

  15. puck says:

    It is probably their basic plea-bargain package – plead guilty to one count. Or it may be that 26 images can’t be plea bargained and they have to go to trial.

    But it does mean every one of those images should be challenged.

  16. liberalgeek says:

    I just did a basic search and it looks like the second count carries life in prison.

    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title11/c005/sc05/index.shtml

  17. SussexWatcher says:

    Or perhaps they get to 25 and stop counting because there are just so many. I love people who speculate out their asses.

  18. geezer says:

    “Or perhaps they get to 25 and stop counting because there are just so many.”

    That’s not any prosecutor I’ve ever met.

  19. SussexWatcher says:

    It makes a hell of a lot more sense than the conspiracy theory-laden shit you and puck are google-guessing about.

  20. Dingos8MyGovt says:

    Richard Korn has no financial interest or partnership in Out of the Box Communications. He was involved at one time and that was years ago. Check your facts.

  21. Delaware Dem says:

    Ok, then I will go back to my original statement: he retained OOTB and had them release a statement. Happy?

  22. Delaware Dem says:

    Guys, the obvious answer is that the number 25 appears in the charging statute for the particular crime. For example, if you have in your possession 25 or more pictures, you are charged in Possession in the First Degree, and if you have 24 and less, it is Possession in the second degree.

  23. Truth Teller says:

    I am not saying that this happened in this case but it has been proven that a neighbor using the signal from a wifi can get into your computer.The feds have had several cases where this was the case.

  24. puck says:

    What is a “charging statute?” Is that somewhere other than here? http://delcode.delaware.gov/title11/c005/sc05/index.shtml#1108

  25. V says:

    i knew it was something like that but couldn’t articulate it. thanks DD! isn’t there a similar rule that if you have over x amount of drugs they automatically charge dealing instead of possession?

  26. I know of a guy who was a long time engineer with DelDOT whose work computer turned up child porn under Sec. Hayward’s tenure and he was fired but not prosecuted. It turned out the image was embedded when he opened an email attachment.

  27. liberalgeek says:

    Richard Korn was a principal in OOTB when I spoke to him last in mid-September. Check your own facts asshole.

  28. cassandra_m says:

    Backing up LG here — when I spoke to him in mid-September, Korn told me he was currently a principal in OOTB.

  29. liberalgeek says:

    And let me take one more opportunity to dispute Dingos8MyGovt’s VERY thin defense of OOTB…

    http://www.delawareliberal.net/2012/09/24/behind-the-numbers-in-local-races/#comment-301033

    Comment by Dingos8MyGovt on 24 September 2012 at 11:37 am:

    Numbers don’t lie. As Managing Partner of Out of the Box, I designed and implemented these polls with Mr. Korn. I understand how difficult it is to make an assessment without access to the data so let me break it out.

    I thought that he was being ignorant, but now I see that he is being disingenuous.

  30. puck says:

    I too hold DD’s opinion in high regard, but I still would like to read that “charging statute” that explains the importance of the number 25.

    I know in Federal law, it takes three illegal images to charge somebody, but it is written right into the law. I haven’t found similar language for Delaware. I even checked the SENTAC bench book for sentencing guidelines.

  31. pandora says:

    LG, the super sleuth!

  32. liberalgeek says:

    I doubt I’m making many friends…

  33. puck says:

    “He was involved at one time and that was years ago. Check your facts.”

    From May 2012:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120511065348/http://ootbusa.com/?page=about

  34. liberalgeek says:

    To sum up, “years ago” must not refer to Earth years.

    And seriously, if Magda Korn owns the domain name as my whois link above indicates, OOTB has bigger issues that they need to address…

  35. Geezer says:

    “the DSP high-tech crimes people are darn good at what they do. If the images were planted, they’d have found out.”

    What was that about people who speculate out their asses? How the hell would you know how good at their job they are?

  36. SussexWatcher says:

    Never mind.

  37. puck says:

    Korn waives his preliminary hearing, and his lawyer calls for an forensic examination of the computer. Hopefully he means an “independent” forensic examination. The case now goes to Superior Court.

    I’m not sure what the waiver means. Does it mean he admits there is enough evidence to advance the case? Or does it mean he can’t fight it without the forensic examination?

    Also reported is that the split with his wife happened on December 13, the same day the police first visited for the porn allegations. The reporter is careful not to say the wife made the allegations.

  38. Geezer says:

    If we had a dollar for every nasty divorce that included charges of molestation of the children, we could all retire.

  39. V says:

    ahhhh and now we get to the root of it.

    but i could also totally see her discovering this, freaking out, and bailing immediately while calling the police (or someone she told mid-bail calling the cops).

    It’ll be interesting to see what the exam of the computer shows (if granted).

    In the prelim hearing the prosecution would have to lay out at least the bare bones of their case. If he’s trying to get the evidence thrown out and the charges dropped (and knows he can’t do so until they get a better look at the computer), i wouldn’t be surprised if they waived the hearing so the narrative doesn’t make it into the paper.

  40. puck says:

    “if granted”

    They have to allow access to the computer for independent examination. The only issue is if the defense can afford it.

    The forensic examination will show when the files were added to the computer and when they were last accessed, and what else was being done on the computer at the time. It will also show if there is one of the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs that are usually the downfall of porn suspects. It will also show under whose login the files were downloaded or accessed (although with both parties having physical access that doesn’t matter so much).

    The narrative will already be in the warrant affidavit, and also in whatever document was filed after the seizure. I’m just too lazy to figure out how to go get it.

  41. V says:

    agreed on all of that. I forgot about discovery. I’m just thinking having a prelim hearing wouldn’t be in his best interest because it would bring more attention to stuff he’s trying to get thrown out than a filing of docs does. Its another excuse for TNJ to write about it. Not really a legal strategy as much as a not wanting it out there as much as possible thing.