Zombie Causes Teenage Boy To Face Prison Time For Viewing Porn?

At first glance, this story may be unseemly, bizarre, whatever … to some. It is, however, an ongoing crisis management plan that we may watch unfold. The idea here is to see what, if any, uptake there is online regarding the campaign and what tactics one may employ in an attempt to gain attention for the cause.

Zombie, in this instance, is a “zombie computer” that has been hacked into by some nefarious character.

Just like my last post, this is about parents attempting crisis management in a story about their child.

This is a story about porn, hackers, trojan viruses, zombie machines and more.

For the PR practitioner, it is a story about crisis management, Web site choices, video, media relations and more.

Crisisblogger Gerald Baron covers the story of a real-time crisis management campaign underway today.

…the story about Matt Bandy. Matt is a 16 year old from Phoenix falsely accused and prosecuted of child porn because a few images of the nasty stuff was found on his computer at home. Despite the compelling evidence to the contrary, the prosecutor continued to push the accusations until the family accepted a plea bargain for a much lower charge–the equivalent of taking a Playboy to school. Still, he was branded a sex offender with the draconian restrictions applied to those who are thus convicted. (Source)

Jonathan Bernstein, of Bernstein Crisis Management (BCM), is leading the campaign for his client – the parents of Matthew Bandy. Already his work has led to a Web site, media placements and a feature on ABC’s 20/20 news magazine.

ABC VideoBeyond the existing tactics in this campaign, Bernstein is seeking to:

…get the word about this ongoing “cause” talked about rapidly on the “blogosphere”, the cause being preventing another person’s life being trashed like this, modifying laws accordingly, warning computer users that they could go to jail for illegal material placed on their computer without their knowledge. We’re doing a series of free press releases over the holiday weekend and PR Newswire on Tuesday, what else might we do?

So, I’ve posted the story in NewPR.CrispyNews.com and it is already in Digg. We’ll see if there is any uptake on the story.

The Web site Bernstein created is www.justice4matt.com.

You may view the complete interview/story from the January 12, 2007 episode of ABC’s 20/20 about Matt Bandy.

As of now, I can find only one blog that has picked up the story – Blogcritics.org.

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0 thoughts on “Zombie Causes Teenage Boy To Face Prison Time For Viewing Porn?

  1. Jeanne Bandy

    Hi, this is Jeanne Bandy, Matt’s mom. I’m a complete amateur at blogging, just learning how to do this, but on behalf of Matt and our whole family, I want to thank all of you who have expressed support for us and outrage about what happened. Matt, as you may know, is restricted from using the computer for anything but school or work by the terms of the probation he got stuck with. I hope all of you will visit our website, http://www.justice4matt.com, and write to the legislators and other people listed on our “How You Can Help page.” If you want to write to me or Matt, the best way to do that is the Contact Us form at our site, because we’re trying to avoid spam as much as we can. And keep on blogging about us please, I’m told it really helps to put pressure on lawmakers and law enforcers to make change in the system, and it educates people who don’t know how easily the same thing could happen to them. Finally, my apology for having to send out somewhat of a “form message” to bloggers – we’re swamped (thank God) in supportive response and I’m just trying to keep up. I’m having to borrow a friend’s computer and his Internet access because we cut ours off some time ago – but we’re going to go online again soon, with MAXIMUM security. I’ll try to respond more personally soon. THANK YOU AGAIN!

  2. Robert

    Jeanne, thanks for stopping by. I hope the word spreads and perhaps a little pressure will be put upon the powers that be to reconsider the case and expunge the record and sentence. All the best in your efforts.

    Owen, yep … it does seem that this is one big goof up caused by overzealous prosecutors and ignorance of online and computing.

  3. Owen Lystrup

    I should have added that I think what happened to Jeanne, her son and her family is absolutely abhorrent.

    I wish you all well in your fight against this. I’m sure you’ll get lots of support.

  4. Oliver Del Signore

    I’m doing a bit of follow-up for the Bandy team and thought you might like to know about a new article on the Fox website. Written by reporter Wendy McElroy, it’s titled “Overzealous Porn Prosecution Tramples Accused’s Rights” and may be found at http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,246060,00.html

    We’ve also posted a “What’s New” section on the JusticeForMatt home page (www.justiceformatt.com) to make it easier for returning visitors to keep current with the case.

    Thanks for your interest and for helping to spread the word about this frightening and cautionary story.