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Magistrate Refuses to Dismiss Child Porn Charges Against Woman who Recorded Relative

Child porn charges against the former owner of Arunothai in Pawtuxet Village should proceed, a Superior Court magistrate ruled.

Child pornography charges against the woman who formerly owned a Pawtuxet Village restaurant can proceed, a Superior Court magistrate ruled recently.

Arunothai Asawabowornan, 34, the former owner of Arunothai, was arrested in Feb. 2011 after an investigation that began with a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and ended with police tracing e-mails to Asawabowornan's home.

Asawabowornan allegedly took pictures of a nude 8-year-old relative and distributed them on the Internet, according to police.

Magistrate John McBurney rejected a defense motion to dismiss the charges on grounds that there wasn't evidence of an intent to elicit a sexual response, according to the Providence Journal.

McBurnery concluded the images "were graphic or lascivious as required by the law," according to the Journal.

Asawabowornan's lawyer, Richard Ratcliff, said the magistrate's ruling will be appealed.

Police said the ICAC Task Force/Computer Crimes Unit received a tip from the NCMEC based on a video that contained images of child pornography that had been uploaded to the Internet from an email address in Providence. The video contained images of a female child in a pornographic manner.

Detectives executed several search warrants to Internet service providers which showed the e-mails had been sent from 319 Indiana Ave. in Providence - Asawabowornan's address. They also led to police obtaining additional e-mails of the same child depicted in even more pornographic images and videos. 

Those pictures and videos were sent to individuals in foreign countries, police said, prompting the involvement of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent. 

Police said the on-scene investigation "confirmed Ms. Asawabowornan inappropriately photographed the child, posted the images and videos on the Internet, and emailed the images to individuals in foreign countries."

Eva Gomez November 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM
It sounds like a witch hunt to me, doesn't the police have a real job to do?
Frank Dwyer November 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Yeah the police are doing it. They are stopping a disgustung person from taking pictures of an 8 year old and plastering them on the internet.
brian dupont November 02, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Witch hunt??? Are you kidding me. Multiple occasions AND emailing to sites overseas??? This women is disgusting at the very least. How can you do that for one and how can you do that to a family member. She deserves the full prosecution of the law.
Marny Miller November 30, 2012 at 07:51 PM
She sent pictures to her sister, the child's mother, of a typical day, from school to bedtime. Simply because she and the mother are Thai, the brand new officer, who was looking for a bust, had her arrested. There were NO porn images on her computer, and she never SOLD or distributed a thing. Our judicial system has ruined her business and life. She is. The type of immigrant that our country wants, Master's degree, talented, hard-working. Her niece came only to learn English for a year. DCYF grabbed this non-English speaking 8 year old and handed her over to foster care from her loving aunt. It's a horror show, and the child is permanently traumatized. Unless you know these people, you might believe the press. The police won't stop because they don't want to admit wrong-doing and get slapped with a racial profiling lawsuit.

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