Teacher convicted for using malware-infested PC

Boston.com story on Julie Amero case

In short, technologically-inept substitute teacher uses PC in classroom. PC is running Win 98 with an old version of IE, no anti-spyware, and outdated anti-virus. Porn popups ensue and several 12 year olds see thumbnail-sized nekkid people. Teacher reports incident to principal, told “no problem, happens all the time.” Kids tell parents about pR0n. Teacher fired, arrested, and convicted of multiple felonies. Miscarries due to stress. Sentencing, up to 40 years in prison, happens March 2.

And you thought the legal system only went batshit insane over drug cases!

She needed a computer expert on her defense team. Win 98 was one of easiest OS to take advantage of in that manner. I’ve had to do total re-formats on some machines that simply were so corrupt it wasn’t worth trying to save the install.

Your “summary” is what the defendant says happened. According to the article you linked, the prosecutor claims the sites were visted intentionally. Which probably doesn’t deserve hard prison time, IMO, but definitely warrants never working with children again.

You’ve never been nailed by a “Drive By” browser attact using Win 98? Gez, you’d get hit and then suddenly half your favorites were pR0n!

I think I skipped 98… went from 95 to the craptastic Me.

The prosecutor’s claim is based on web logs showing hits to porn sites. Everyone agrees the PC accessed porn sites; the question is whether those hits were generated by malware or whether Amero sat in front of a class of 12 year olds surfing for pr0n. Evidence which was barred from court showed that the malware infection occurred prior to the day of the incident.

I wonder why the teachers’ union wasn’t all over this with high-priced lawyers and, you know, people who actually understand a little about how computers work. You’d think that teachers’ unions would be good for something.

She was a substitute teacher which, in my state at least, is a non-union position.

Are substitute teachers in the union?

Edit: Beaten by seconds

Ouch! ME was worse than 98…

Still, the precedent is a dangerous one for teachers in the union too.

Yeah it was pretty much the worst OS ever. But it never created porn bookmarks or anything crazy like that. It just crashed all the time.

Back to topic, I misread the article the first time…40 YEARS?!? There’s either something else toing on here that the article doesn’t mention or that DA is off his nut.

How the hell did she get convicted? Key-rist.

That does seem like a pretty stiff sentence for what probably was an “Accident”. Even if it weren’t it, that’s a lot of time.

What sentence would you recommend? Anything more severe than “docked half pay for that day” is absolutely ludicrous, and even that is probably overkill.

I guess it all depends on whether it really was Malware. It seems to me that the evidence the wouldn’t allow that the machine had been corrupted previously is key. Any Computer Expert should be able to track that down.

Dude, it’s Windows 98. That’s all the evidence you need.

Yeah, that’s about the way I feel about it. She needs a decent lawyer an an appeal. 40 years is a long time.

I ain’t no lawyerin’ type, but based on the legal expertise I’ve acquired watching Law and Order for many years, I think that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, which here must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Amero deliberately showed porn to minors. Even the reasonable possibility that malware was responsible ought to have been enough to preclude conviction.

I think she’s being made an example of by the prosecution, to send a message to all the middle school substitute teachers that don’t treat their work seriously and simply collect huge paychecks.

In theory. In practice, you’re tried and convicted by the sensationalist media, the entire jury pool is tainted, and you’re fucked by a public defender who doesn’t even know your name.