SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — A former Scottsbluff police officer convicted on child pornography charges will have to serve his five- to 10-year sentence.
The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday denied an appeal from Tyler Reinpold to have his case retried.
Reinpold had been convicted in January 2012 of 10 counts of possession of child pornography.
During trial, prosecutors said images and videos of child pornography had been found on a personal computer and hard drives owned by Reinpold. At the time of the investigation, Reinpold was a Scottsbluff police officer.
In his defense, Reinpold contended that he had been in possession of the images because he had been investigating a friend, a former security guard, for possessing child pornography.
Scottsbluff Police Department officials and a Nebraska State Patrol investigator testified that Reinpold had not been involved with a child pornography investigation, and a Scotts Bluff County District Court jury found him guilty. Soon after being sentenced in March 2012, Reinpold filed a direct appeal with the Nebraska Supreme Court.
In his appeal, Reinpold asserted that the district erred in allowing evidence found on the computer hard drives. The computer hard drives had been found in a home owned by Reinpold’s parents, Shane and Amy Reinpold. At the time, Reinpold’s grandparents were renting the home and Reinpold had been a previous renter.
Reinpold and his father said during pretrial hearings that Reinpold had been renting locked storage space in the basement and that Reinpold’s grandparents could not give permission to a Nebraska State Patrol investigator to search that area. A Scotts Bluff County District Court judge disagreed and the evidence was allowed at trial.
The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Scotts Bluff County District Court Judge Randall Lippstreu’s ruling that allowed the evidence at trial.
As part of his appeal, Reinpold also contended that the state had not presented sufficient evidence that the “actors” in the photographs and videos submitted as child pornography were under the age of 18. The Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors are not bound to present expert testimony about the ages of persons in child pornography.
He also objected to a jury instruction that outlined the charges presented to the jury. Reinpold specifically objected to an instruction that he “knowingly possessed child pornography” and that the jury should have been advised that it was a separate element of the crime.
The Supreme Court determined that Reinpold had failed to raise such an objection to the jury instructions during trial and did not address the issue.