The case against Connecticut substitute teacher Julie Amero has finally
come to a close. Prosecutors dropped the felony charges against her,
but the agreement called for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of
disorderly conduct and surrender of her state teaching credential.
Amero had previously been convicted of endangering minors and faced 40
years in prison. Prosecutors alleged that in 2004 she had surfed to
dubious websites that displayed pornographic pop-ups on a computer in
the classroom; when security specialists caught wind of the case, they
pushed to examine the computer in question and found that the school
district had inadequate anti-malware protection on that computer and the
pop-ups were not Amero’s fault.
This is easily one of the most frustrating InfoSec stories of recent years. In case you are unaware, some poor substitute teacher in Conn was using a computer in a classroom when a flood of pornographic pop-ups (induced by malware) came on the screen. She found herself in court facing Child Endangerment charges and up to 40 years in prison.
This highlights how scary our legal system can get. If you have no idea what a case is about do not try to render a verdict. Defer it to another judge, a jury or call in some experts. For gods sake, don’t sentence someone for not doing anything wrong.