School administrators expressed shock earlier this month when discussing the case during a news conference, saying Merrill had never displayed troubling behavior during his time at the school.
I hope school administrators can remember this about their colleague: he had never displayed troubling behavior.
While being questioned by investigators, Merrill said he was sexually assaulted as a minor and "wanted to know if child pornography was as repulsive as he had read about," according to the affidavit.
I have been told that child porn is the "crack cocaine of the porn world." If this man's story is true, I'd say the adage could be, as well. We all know someone who is "addicted" to Facebook or to video games. It follows that an addiction to child porn is a possible result of simple curiosity. Especially for someone who was sexually assaulted, perhaps.
O'Neil said — with the federal charge filed — he expects Isabella County prosecutors to drop the local child porn distribution charges against Merrill.
"I still have not seen any evidence of distribution or sharing," O'Neil said. "Right now, all the evidence is reviewing this child pornography in the four corners of his home and office, which is serious enough."
So, no evidence that he distributed child porn and yet he is charged with distribution. Favorite trick of prosecutors: Charge him with everything possible, even if they have no evidence for some of the charge. This pins the defendant between the very long mandatory minimum sentence likely after a trial and the merely long sentence offered in the plea agreement.