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Former beauty pageant winner charged with child pornography

New Jersey residents may have been surprised to learn that a former beauty queen was charged on Oct. 9 with distributing child pornography. The 25-year-old had bee arrested in San Diego on Oct. 7.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the defendant took photographs of a 4-year-old female relative in sexually explicit poses and sent them to a U.S. Marine at Camp Pendleton. She reportedly received cash and gifts in exchange for the pictures. Further specifics were withheld to protect the identity of the child.

The defendant has been charged with three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and one felony count of possession and control of child pornography. She is being held in Orange County jail on $100,000 bail. It was not clear if the Marine was charged in the case.

The defendant, a resident of San Clemente, is a former Mrs. Orange County and participated in the 2014 Mrs. California competition. She was reportedly a youth volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Irvine and San Clemente, which gave her access to children. Authorities are investigating the possibility that there may be other victims in the case.

People who are arrested for possession of child pornography face severe consequences if they are convicted, possibly including incarceration. A criminal defense attorney will carefully review the evidence for inconsistencies or inaccuracies that may be used in the defendant's favor, and in some cases might challenge the constitutionality of the search that led to the seizure of the alleged child pornography.

Source: Business Insider, "Former California beauty queen charged with child porn," Oct. 9, 2015

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