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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 08/31/2011

Child-porn charges against ex-AOL executive dropped

Fairfax County prosecutors have dropped possession of child pornography charges against a former America Online executive, who had previously been convicted of secretly taping a nude teenage girl at his home.

Craig Dykstra, of Centreville, was facing five felony counts in the case, which was ended shortly before the trial was slated to begin.

Dykstra was first arrested in June 2010 after a teenage boy and girl discovered a hidden camera taping them as they changed in a room at Dykstra’s home, authorities said. Dykstra was throwing a post-prom pool party for his daughter, who was attending Westfield High School.

One of the teenagers brought the camera to a parent, who turned it over to Fairfax County police. The camera contained nude footage of a teen, who later said she had not consented to the taping, court records show. The footage also showed a man setting up the camera.

Dykstra was found guilty of shooting an unconsenting nude person in July 2010. He served five days in jail for the misdemeanor.

Based on the recording and interviews, police continued their investigation. Officers obtained a search warrant for Dykstra’s home, which they said turned up “child pornography” on a computer, according to court records.

During pre-trial motions, Dykstra’s attorneys asked to have the evidence declared inadmissable arguing that police should have obtained a search warrant before viewing the footage on the camera that the teens took. They also argued police did not establish probable cause for getting a search warrant of Dykstra’s home, and that detectives exceeded the scope of the search warrant when it was executed.

Prosecutors argued the detectives had acted properly.

Before a Circuit Court judge ruled on the defense’s motion to suppress the evidence, prosecutors moved to drop the charges. Judge Lorraine Nordlund granted the request.

Prosecutors could re-file charges in the case.

The prosecutor in the case did not return calls for comment. A defense attorney in the case declined to comment.

By  |  11:05 AM ET, 08/31/2011

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