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Jerome Steffan Jr., N.H. man, avoids child porn charges after affidavit vanishes, report says

Jerome Steffan Jr. avoids facing child pornography charges after key document in the case is lost CBS Boston

Jerome Steffan Jr. avoided facing child pornography charges after an affidavit in the case was lost
CBS Boston
(CBS) PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - A total of seventy-five counts of possession of child pornography have been dropped against New Hampshire man Jerome Steffan, Jr., after an affidavit supporting the search warrant for his home was lost, reports CBS Boston.

A Rockingham County Senior Assistant Prosecutor, Patricia Conway reportedly said, "there was one that did exist, unfortunately it was just misplaced."

According to the station, without the missing document, the search becomes invalid leaving prosecutors with no evidence to show jurors, including the images allegedly found on Steffan's computer.

Prosecutors reportedly said that without the affidavit all evidence is suppressed and they don't have a way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person once possessed all those images.

CBS Boston reports that authorities are not sure how the document was lost. Among the possibilities - it could have been lost by the detective on the case, the judge who reviewed the affidavit or a court clerk.

A search of the courthouse reportedly didn't turn up much.

Prosecutor Conway told CBS Boston that Steffan, 49, got a lucky break, saying he "probably does present a danger" to the community.

If the affidavit resurfaces the station reports the case could be reinstated.

  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for CBSNews.com

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