Federal prosecutors urged a federal appeals court late Monday to keep a child-porn suspect behind bars—where he already has been for seven months—until he unlocks two hard drives that the government claims contains kid smut.
The suspect, a Philadelphia police sergeant relieved of his duties, has refused to unlock two hard drives and has been in jail ever since a judge ordered him to do so seven months ago—and after finding him in contempt of court. The defendant can remain locked up until a judge lifts the contempt order.
The government said Monday he should remain jailed indefinitely until he complies. The authorities also said that it's not a violation of the man's Fifth Amendment right against compelled self incrimination because it's a "foregone conclusion" that illegal porn is on the drives, and that he is only being asked to unlock the drives, not divulge their passcodes.
"This is not a fishing expedition on the part of the government," federal prosecutors told the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals of Philadelphia.