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Consumer

Court: Calif. Dad Can Paste Daughter’s Face On Porn Pics

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(credit: Jed Share/Getty Images)

(credit: Jed Share/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A state appellate court has overturned the child pornography conviction of a Northern California man who digitally inserted his 13-year-old daughter’s face onto graphic pictures of women because the images did not show minors engaging in sex acts, according to court documents.

Joseph Lowell Gerber, of Milpitas, Calif., was convicted in September 2008 of possession of child pornography, annoying or molesting a child, furnishing marijuana to a minor under 14 years of age, and two counts of furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.

His daughter “J.” — who was 14 at the time of the trial — accused Gerber of providing her with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and possibly methamphetamine while staying with her then-estranged dad after her parents had divorced 12 years earlier.

Court records show Gerber eventually convinced J. to allow him to take pictures of her — sometimes wearing only a bra and underwear — in exchange for supplying the preteen with more cocaine.

J. recalls one particular incident when she felt “[v]ery, very uncomfortable” and that her dad was taking photos for a “really long” time.

After J. and her mother went to the police, Gerber was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Officers searched the home and found two USB drives with “pornographic pictures that looked like J.’s head had been ‘pasted on them'”.

Gerber later admitted to taking pictures of his daughter posing in her bra and underwear for up to 20 minutes, and promising to give her cocaine in exchange for those pictures, according to documents from the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose.

He admitted to masturbating to the photos and having “sick thoughts” about his daughter.

The court defended its decision by contending that the language used in a state pornography law “requires a real child to have actually engaged in or simulated the sexual conduct depicted” and therefore could not uphold Gerber’s previous conviction.

“Although we may find such altered images morally repugnant, we conclude that mere possession of them remains protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the decision stated.

Gerber was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison before his conviction was overturned.

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