Jaeyoung Lee v. Commonwealth of Virginia


COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA Present: Judges Petty, Athey and Senior Judge Frank Argued by teleconference UNPUBLISHED JAEYOUNG LEE MEMORANDUM OPINION* BY v. Record No. 0869-20-4 JUDGE ROBERT P. FRANK JULY 13, 2021 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF FAIRFAX COUNTY John M. Tran, Judge Peter D. Greenspun (Liza Greenspun Yang; Greenspun Shapiro PC, on briefs), for appellant. Timothy J. Huffstutter, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring, Attorney General; Robert H. Anderson, III, Senior Assistant Attorney General, on brief), for appellee. Jaeyoung Lee, appellant, was convicted in a bench trial of one count of possessing child pornography and ninety-nine counts of possessing child pornography as a second or subsequent offense in violation of Code § 18.2-374.1:1. On appeal, he contends that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he knowingly possessed, either actually or constructively, the visual depictions of child pornography that the police found on three computer hard drive devices. For the following reasons, we affirm appellant’s convictions. BACKGROUND On November 1, 2017, Detective Jon Long and other police officers executed a search warrant at appellant’s residence at “Unit 435”in an apartment complex in Alexandria.1 Detective * Pursuant to Code § 17.1-413, this opinion is not designated for publication. 1 The validity of the search warrant or the scope of the search is not before us. Long explained to appellant that he had a search warrant for his apartment. Long “gave him the option of either staying or leaving.” Appellant walked with Long to Unit 435. Long testified that appellant “stayed outside in the hallway” of the apartment “with his mom while the door remained open” during the search. The apartment contained one bedroom and one bathroom. The bedroom closet contained men’s clothing but no clothing for women or children. The police found, in a walk-in closet off the bedroom, a LaCie external hard drive for a computer on a shelf behind a pair of pants. Also in the closet was a fingerprint card bearing appellant’s name. The police found several backpacks of various colors in the apartment. Detective James Lopez testified he found two black Western Digital My Password computer hard drives inside a black and grey backpack.2 Detective Lopez first saw the backpack on a couch in the living room. Within or beside the backpack was a bi-fold folder3 containing appellant’s application with the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to build a firearm. The police recovered documents in the closet and living room area relating to appellant, but no one else. In November of 2017, Detective Nickolas Boffi, who was then a digital forensic examiner for the Fairfax County police, received the hard drives that the police seized from appellant’s apartment. Boffi examined the content of the hard drives. At trial, the Commonwealth introduced diagrams demonstrating the file structure of the three hard drives. 2 These three hard drive devices are the subject of this appeal. 3 Lopez testified that he did not have personal knowledge of where the …

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