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Fed Judge In Philly Asks Whether White Student Got Preferential Treatment

In the city of brotherly love, a federal judge suggests race may have been a consideration in a potential child pornography case involving a white Ivy League student.

Judge Michael M. Baylson/penn law school photo

Judge Michael M. Baylson/penn law school photo

Maryclaire Dale
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – A federal judge questioned Tuesday why a white Ivy League student found with thousands of images of child pornography during a computer hacking probe was not charged with that crime, and was spared the decade-long sentence looming over a black convicted child pornographer at the same hearing.
University of Pennsylvania senior Ryan Goldstein, 22, of Ambler, will spend three months in prison and five years on federal probation for a hacking scheme that caused a Penn engineering server to crash in 2006.
Goldstein pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and worked long hours helping the FBI investigate a worldwide hacking enterprise, lawyers on both sides agreed.
But even as he was cooperating, Goldstein twice engaged in unspecified mischief with FBI computers, causing investigators to fall short of their ultimate goal, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said.
“It was very detrimental to the investigation,” said Baylson, who heard details of the misconduct behind closed doors at the start of Tuesday’s sentencing hearing. “It’s very disturbing.”

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