People v. Wheeler

APPELLATE DIVISION
FOURTH DEPARTMENT
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Per Curiam

Wheeler appealed from a judgment revoking his probation and imposing a prison sentence. He was convicted, upon a guilty plea, of sexual abuse and sentenced to a split sentence of incarceration and probation, and adjudicated a Level III sex offender. During a search of Wheeler's apartment while he was on probation, officials discovered images of prepubescent girls in explicit poses and various states of undress on his computer, and a violation of probation was filed. Wheeler argued prosecutors failed to establish he violated probation, and argued the court erred in refusing suppression of evidence recovered in his home by probation officers. The panel rejected that contention, noting that while on probation Wheeler consented to warrantless searches of his home to permit monitoring of his compliance with probation conditions. Also, it found, contrary to Wheeler's contention, prosecutors were not required to prove he "knowingly possessed" the images, only that he possessed them. The panel found the sentence was not unduly harsh, denying reversal.

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