Professor Charged With Child Porn Says Cops Searched Illegally - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Former Professor Charged With Child Porn Accuses Cops of Illegal Search

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The former Radford University professor facing more than 100 charges, the vast majority of which are related to child pornography, accused police of illegally searching his home back in December.

Attorneys for Taj Mahon-Haft told Radford circuit court judge Joey Showalter Tuesday afternoon that two Radford police officers had no right to enter Mahon-Haft's home after finding nothing but an open door.

Judge Showalter heard testimony from a contractor working on a neighbor's home that he called a police friend after noticing Mahon-Haft's side door had been left open for several hours.

The two officers who responded to the home also testified.

Given that the door was wide open, no one was answering their calls to come to the door, and there was at least one kitchen cabinet left open, both officers said they felt like they had enough reason to enter the home.

Both said they thought the home might've been burglarized.

Both officers also said the time of year factored in their decisions. It was Dec. 22, 2012, and both officers testified that Radford traditionally sees a huge uptick in burglaries after Radford University students leave for Christmas break.

Showalter did not rule at the conclusion of the hearing, and he told Mahon-Haft's defense team and Radford commonwealth's attorney Chris Rehak to write briefs on their legal arguments in the case.

Showalter told the defense team to have its brief finished by Aug. 9. He gave Rehak an Aug. 22 deadline.

Judge Showalter also set a trial date for Oct. 2-4.

It will be a jury trial.