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Charges in Portsmouth child porn case thrown out due to lost search warrant
All charges against Jerome Steffen, 49, were dropped by the Rockingham County Attorney's Office Wednesday morning as a result of the decision, according to County Attorney James Reams.
Steffen, who has been free on bail, faced more than 80 charges in Rockingham County Superior Court related to possession of child sexual abuse images.
Delker concluded that without the warrant, the defense would not be able to challenge how Portsmouth police collected evidence against Steffen – a violation of his due process rights.
Defense lawyer Howard Gross first raised the issue of the missing warrant on Dec. 12.
Gross argued that evidence in the case should be thrown out because a copy of the affidavit used to apply for a search warrant was not included with investigatory materials provided to him by the state.
Cashman testified he did not make any changes to the report and explained that after he submitted the report to a supervisor for approval, only a supervisor could modify the report, the order said.
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