Lawyers wait for forensic scans of computer in federal child porn case against Stephen Jenson
The federal court case that will decide the future of former University of Michigan resident physician Stephen Jenson may be on hold for months as attorneys wait for forensic scans on his computer.
Raymond Cassar, Jenson’s attorney, said Wednesday the official reason for the adjournment of the case Tuesday afternoon is that he is in plea negotiations with United States attorneys. However, Cassar said the case can’t move forward until both sides have the results of the forensic scan being done on the laptop.
There is no active plea offer on the case and discussions are ongoing, Cassar said.
“Dr. Jenson is presumed innocent,” he said. “He is presumed innocent and while this case is pending he remains presumed innocent.
“We are gonna fight for him,” he added.
Jenson is scheduled to be back in U.S. District Court in Detroit at 1 p.m. on June 26 to face a preliminary exam on one charge each of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a minimum of five years in federal prison for the possession of child pornography charge.
Cassar said the forensic scan on Jenson’s computer could take months. He said that piece of evidence will be a major factor in where the case ends up.
Despite the pending federal charges, Jenson’s medical license remains valid and untainted, according to state records.
The state of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website showed Jenson’s medical license is still valid until its expiration date on June 30. There are no formal complaints listed against Jenson and no disciplinary action has been taken, records show.
Hospital security officials were notified that Jenson had allegedly left a thumb drive in a laptop containing child pornography that had been found by a hospital employee in May 2011. It was six months before the report was forwarded to the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety.
At least eight people knew about the report in June 2011, according to records.
Jenson was originally arrested and charged in Washtenaw County on four counts of possessing child sexually abusive material, but those charges were dropped in February when the federal charges were filed.
An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court stated 97 images and four videos of child pornography weren found on Jenson’s computer.
The delay between the alleged child pornography being found and the start of the police investigation has been, and continues to be, the subject of a number of university reviews.
The University of Michigan launched an internal review that culminated in a report that was released in February. An external review ordered by the university’s Board of Regents is ongoing, as is a review by the U.S. Department of Education.