In August we wrote about a Mattawan resident, James Alfred Beckman Jr., who was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of sexually exploiting a child and receiving child pornography. On Friday November 29, federal prosecutors filed nine additional charges against Beckman in connection with his alleged sexual abuse of two boys during the time period between November of 2011 and September of 2012.
The latest sexual exploitation charges, according to an indictment which supersedes the previous August 13 indictment, alleges incidents involving a boy younger than 10 years of age which are said to have occurred in April, May, and July of last year. The newest criminal charges against Beckman include one count of receipt of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography, and six counts of sexual exploitation of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a child, according to news reports at Mlive.com. He is expected to stand trial on all of the charges in January.
Beckman was employed by MPI Research as associate director of drug safety. An FBI special agent testified at an August pretrial conference, arraignment, and detention hearing that a computer linked to the defendant’s former employment at MPI contained more than 300 images of child pornography.
Anastase Markou, Beckman’s defense attorney, filed numerous motions in mid-November which seek to have six of the counts dismissed, along with suppression of certain evidence and the testimony of one of the alleged victims. Markou maintains that no webcam activity or captured images were discovered by federal investigators on Beckman’s personal or work computers, “despite and extensive and exhaustive analysis.” Markou alleges that the evidence in the case is purely circumstantial.
The charges against Beckman are extremely serious; if convicted, he could face up to life in prison. Cases involving children are extremely sensitive; neither the job of the prosecutor or defense attorney is easy. While it is true there are many sexual predators who prey on children in our society today, it is just as true that many innocent people sit behind bars, accused of sex-related crimes they did not commit.
Anyone who has been accused of child pornography, sexually exploiting a child, rape, or any similar offense must contact a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney at once. Not only do you face severe criminal penalties if convicted, the potential damage to your life and reputation is substantial.