NBCWashington.com:

A Virginia man who has Asperger’s syndrome spent four days in jail after being indicted for downloading child pornography, but his grandparents told News4 he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.
The time 27-year-old Mikey Dejerolme spent in jail in Stafford County left him shell-shocked, his grandparents said, and he emerged acting like a 6-year-old.
“About the third night there, he did not think he was going to make it out,” said his grandmother, Nina Dejerolme. ”He’s not very forthcoming with emotion but that night he told me goodbye and I love you.”
Now he often won’t let go of his grandmother’s hand.

Nina and Tony Dejerolme, who raised Mikey Dejerolme since he was a toddler, think charges should not have been filed.
In April 2015, deputies knocked on their door. They found child porn on Mikey Dejerolme’s computer.

His grandparents said they’ve determined he followed a peer-to-peer link while downloading music. While he is intellectually bright, he is like a 12-year-old emotionally, his grandparents said.
“I explained to Mikey that was bad what he did and it’s illegal and he can’t do that,” Tony Dejerolme said.
Ohio Victim May Have Been Target of Facebook Threat
“I made a mistake in having those [pictures] on there,” Mikey Dejerolme told News4. “I didn’t like them.”

This situation is absurd.  Charges need to be dropped.   Sadly, this could happen to anyone.  Mikey is 12 emotionally.  12 year olds are curious.  How many pre-adolescents get into unsavory stuff on the internet and take a good look because they are curious?    Mikey should be treated as though he were 12.  Charges should be dropped and the grandparents will monitor his computer activities.

Why waste the tax payers money prosecuting this young man?

25 thoughts on “Aspergers man charged with child porn

  1. Steve Thomas

    The charges are proper, in that an actual crime was committed. Whether or not his condition prevented him from understanding that what he was doing was criminal is another matter. If the investigation concludes he lacked the mental capacity to understand he was doing wrong, perhaps that charges will be dropped, or he’ll be sent to some diversion program. But, when an adult is in possession of child porn, the authorities must arrest and charge. Mitigating facts determine what the next steps are.

    1. A lot was left out. How was it traced to his house. I think prosecuting the case is a waste of time.

      1. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        Yes, a lot was left out, and yet you’ve concluded that it’s a waste of time to prosecute. We could save the tax-payers a TON of money, if we just replaced our justice system with Washington.com articles and public sentiment.

        Is there evidence that a crime was committed: Yes.

        Does law enforcement have both the legal and moral obligation to investigate and if sufficient evidence exists, to arrest and prefer charges? Yes.

        Who reviews the facts at the time of arrest and subsequent investigation, and uses prosecutorial discretion as to whether or not to seek an indictment? The Commonwealth’s Attorney in that particular jurisdiction.

        Who hears the evidence and issues indictments for felonious crimes? A grand-jury.

        Who makes up a grand-jury? Citizens.

        What happens after an indictment? A preliminary hearing is scheduled, and either waived by the accused, or the accused is heard by a judge.

        Who decides whether the charges are sufficient to warrant the indictment and evidence supports the charges? A judge.

        Who decides whether or not the accused will stand trial, or if some pre-trial diversion may be warranted? A judge.

        Who actually hears the facts in evidence and decides whether or not the accused is guilty or innocent? A judge, OR a jury of the accused’s peers, whichever the accused chooses.

        But in your opinion, the whole justice system is a waste of time and money, because of what you read in the Washington.com, what you didn’t read in the Washington.com, and what the grandparents who raised the individual have to say…

        GOOD GRACIOUS IGNATIUS! Why are we even bothering with all these laws, and police, and prosecutors, and grand juries, and defense attorneys and jails, and probation officers? Let’s just have a reporter interview the accused or his parents, grandparents, friends, and random people on the street, print it up, and let the public decide? Nevermind that this might not have been an accident, or that the accused has a history of this sort of thing. Never mind that there are real victims (kids) who were the subjects of images. Never mind that it is a crime to produce, disseminate or possess this material. Trials are a “waste of time and money” in cases that could just as easily be presented in the local paper of record, and adjudicated on the local blogs or in the articles comments section.

        At least there’s no danger of his permanently losing the right to vote.

      2. I feel that an awful lot of words were just put in my mouth that I did not say. I made no sweeping generalizations. I simply said I thought prosecuting this case was a waste of time. There are better ways of handling the situation, starting with a mandatory block on his computer.

        Law enforcement could go after people who are much more involved in kiddie porn than this kid. That seems like the more sensible thing to do.

        This kid obviously did not produce or disseminate the material He possessed it. I have a friend or two who “possessed” kiddie porn by virtue of the fact that it appeared on that friend’s computer. She started with her internet provider as well as law enforcement. Hell, she could have had a knock at her door. She didnt find law enforcement to be johnny on the spot over the issue.

        We don’t aways need to get out a cannon to kill a fly.

      3. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        Not disagreeing with you, that should circumstances warrant, other means of justice might be appropriate. Pre-trial diversion is one.

        If you feel like a whole bunch of words were put into your mouth, that was my intention. You see, you watched a video, long on emotion, short on facts, that only tells “Micky’s” side of the story… and concluded:

        This situation is absurd. Charges need to be dropped. Sadly, this could happen to anyone. Mikey is 12 emotionally. 12 year olds are curious. How many pre-adolescents get into unsavory stuff on the internet and take a good look because they are curious? Mikey should be treated as though he were 12. Charges should be dropped and the grandparents will monitor his computer activities.

        Why waste the tax payers money prosecuting this young man?”

        You’ve already decided…or did I miss-read your comments.

        “Mikey” is 27. His name is Michael. I know this, because I looked him up on the Rappahanock jail site. Has “Mikey” done this sort of thing before? You don’t know. Instead, you watched the video, heard “Mickey” say “It was a mistake. It was bad. I didn’t like them”, and watched him put together a puzzle.

        I’m not saying “Mikey” doesn’t have diminished capacity. He very well may, and if this is established by a qualified medical professional.(not his grand parents), he SHOULD be treated differently by the authorities, as he would lack the mental capacity to fully understand the gravity of his actions.

        You are entitled to your opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. In your opinion, “Mickey” is entitled to different treatment under the justice system. I’m going to wait for a licensed psychologist to examine him, make a report to the CA and the judge, and if the facts support it, drop the charges or send him to diversion.If they don’t, he’s an adult, properly indicted, and should be made to face the justice system.

        What surprised me here, is your apparent willingness to accept as fact. the media’s presentation, and the Grandparent’s version at face value, and concluded that the CA is engaged in a witch-hunt.. Where’s the critical thinking? Did you ask yourself “I wonder what prompted the CA to seek an indictment?” “Where the grandparents there when he downloaded the images? If not, how did they know he followed an innocuous link?” . Do you think they could have possibly coached “Mikey” on what to say, or how to act?”

        Here’s the think about conclusions based on a flawed or thin premise; you leave much open ground to be filled in by someone with an opposing view. Were this not the case, I wouldn’t be able to challenge your conclusion. This story mattered enough for you to post it on you blog. It mattered enough that you presented your opinion. I’m just challenging your opinion, because I disagree with your premise, and your conclusion.

      4. I don’t know what pre trial diversion is. Please explain. If it keeps someone like that out of prison…I am all ears.

        Lest you think I am a whimp on stuff done to kids, I believe you know how I got my start in local political crossfire–a 4 year old being raped by an incapacitated, emotionally disturbed 16 year old. I had a judge call me a bitch and a vigilante. I think Aspergers and autism are uncharted fields in the legal system.

        I also might have been looking around for something to post. I wouldn’t say I was horribly emotionally invested. Trying someone and throwing him in prison….nah. There are other ways.

        Oh and yes, there could have been coaching. That could happen during a trial too.

        I am not sure I am totally at peace with sex offender laws. I haven’t been for nearly 40 years.
        If Mikey was a frequent flyer, then I might feel differently.

      5. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        I recall the story of what happened in Westgate, as you related it to me. This is what surprised me most, when I read your position on “Mikey”.

        That’s one of the challenges when dealing with those whose minds and psychology are vastly behind their chronological age…They go through puberty.They have all the biological parts and hormones, drives and strength of an adult…but lack the adult’s capacity for reason and restraint.

        When I was in Highschool, “mainstreaming” was all the rage. There was a guy who was like 19 years old, but was what we called “retarded”. He was high-functioning. Had a job after school, participated in school life. Attended the same classes. But he was off. Some girls used to flirt with him, get him all hot-and-bothered, screw around with his head, for fun and he’d end up getting yelled at by a teacher, because he kept rubbing his crotch. Dude couldn’t help himself, and these girls knew it. I thought they were mean, stuck-up rich chicks…and they were. Guy later got sent to the state hospital…for raping a 10 year old girl.

      6. Mikey doesn’t belong in prison I do not think. Not the same as the Irongate case. If I find out otherwise, I will eat crow.

        Your other paragraphs, I agree with.

        I had a friend in high school who had a football head injury. He ended up brain damaged. Before his accident, he was a perfectly normal, polite kid. Sort of above average in that department. We went over to see “Woody” about 6 weeks later. He had been kept out of school. It was horrible. He groped and wouldn’t stop with the inappropriate behaviors. I felt badly for his poor mother who was trying to keep him from feeling up the company.

        This was similar. Reyes syndrome also can do that to people.

        Back to Mikey. If this was a one time offense then that kid doesn’t need to go to prison. If it keeps up, well, then that is a different story.

      7. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        ” I made no sweeping generalizations. I simply said I thought prosecuting this case was a waste of time.”

        If I were to quote Bill Howell: “I am shocked but not surprised”, you’d say I made a contradictory statement. You did make a “sweeping generalization” in concluding the case is a “waste of time”, based on what was presented in that video/transcript.

      8. I was referring to one case, not child porn cases in general.

        A kid like that would probably not survive prison. Local jails are even worse.

  2. Steve Thomas

    And one more thought: You have concluded that the charges are “ridiculous and need to be dropped” based on the statements made in a news article by the grandparents? I missed the part where Grams and Gramps produced degrees and licenses in the field of psychology, which would make their opinions more definitive better if they are criminal or psychologists specialized in autism. Not saying their statements are inaccurate, but the authorities should wait for a professional medical opinion from a disinterested party, first.

    1. I have no problem with a medical and psychological assessment and restrictions on internet use.

      1. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        I’ll be happy with whatever the facts in evidence indicate the appropriate action is, be it diversion or 3-5 in prison, as I try to look at these things critically.

      2. I would not be happy knowing a kid like that was sent to prison. There’s something just so wrong about it, my my opinion.

        If they try him, I hope they go with whatever programs are out there. I don’t even care if he goes on the sex offenders list.

      3. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        “I would not be happy knowing a kid like that was sent to prison. There’s something just so wrong about it, my my opinion.”

        I think you have missed my point, throughout this entire thread. Moon, you only know what was presented in the news segment, which is hardly an objective source. You got one side of the argument. You saw a staged representation of Michael DeJerolme. “Mickey” might very well be a “gentle giant with the heart and mind of a child”, or he could be someone with a previous documented history of pedophilia, or a juvenile record of minor sexual assault. You’ve already made up your mind that this “kid” doesn’t warrant prosecution, and you have done so without even considering this might be an act.

        Prison might be appropriate. Confinement at a state mental facility might be appropriate. Probation might be appropriate. Diversion might be appropriate. You can’t determine this based on the news segment.

        Pre-Trial Diversion is a judicial tool to keep first time offenders from facing the weight of the prosecution system. It is a type of plea deal. The defense can request a hearing to have the judge consider the suitability of “diverting” the accused into a supervised program, and upon successful completion, the charges are dropped.

        Say I got into a fist-fight with someone, as was charged with A&B. My lawyer could argue the facts that I have a clean record and do not have a history of violence, presenting evidence from character witnesses and such. The judge might “divert” me to anger management classes, and have me evaluated by a psychologist. Upon successful completion of the classes, and with a favorable psych report, he could then dismiss the case.

        Why am I (respectfully) challenging your opinion so strongly? This is the 2nd time in the past few weeks that you have posted a news report, and determined all sorts of conclusions, with no consideration as to how the legal system works. First it was PG county. A man legallydefended his home against a perceived threat, (which turned out to be an unlawful breaking and entry by an agent of the government) and you immediately determined he was a kook who should have his guns taken away, and made to face justice. Why? Because the people he shot were fireman? Because his “victims” had good intentions, he’s a kook not worthy of owning a firearm?

        Now we have “Mikey”. “Mikey” downloaded kiddie-porn. Mikey is autistic…so Mikey deserves a pass. He’s no danger to society…because the news showed him holding grandma’s hand, assembling a puzzle, and saying “I saw them and didn’t like them”.

        Guess who else was autistic? Adam Lanza.

      4. Aspergers and autism are different and have different associated behaviors. I would be ok with a diversion program. I mostly don’t want someone like that in prison. If he has had similar charges in the past on multiple occasions, I will eat my plate of crow. I don’t think that is the case, however…..

        I feel strongly about the firefighter being killed. Something wasn’t right or relatives wouldn’t have been alarmed. I am not so sure we have heard the end of that one. what we know: a public servant is dead and another wounded because someone was unresponsive to warnings and repeated inquiries from relatives. What we don’t know: Number of times the shooter has been unresponsive to inquires, the mental state of the shooter. exactly what warnings the fire department issued. (probably a lot more things)

        Mikey I feel strongly about but not as strongly as I do about a man losing his life trying to protect someone else.

        question for you–what mechanisms and procedures would you have in place to ascertain that this doesn’t happen again.

        I am going to fall on the side of someone’s life, especially someone’s life who thinks they are doing the right thing and helping a stranger. Why did the shooter even think someone was trying to harm him? I smell psycho myself…..

      5. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        “What mechanisms and procedures would you have in place to ascertain that this doesn’t happen again.”

        I am assuming you are referring to the PG County incident. We have mechanisms. Laws and procedures are pretty clear on what the state can and cannot do. MD has them, just like every other state. When followed, people don’t get shot, civil rights don’t get violated, and governmental agencies don’t get sued.

        I know this, because I didn’t take the news report at face value. I dug in a bit, looking at MD laws, case law, firearms law, self-defense law. The fact that the homeowner wasn’t charged, was quickly released from custody, and the agencies involved were quick to label this as a “tragic accident” indicates that no laws were broken by the home-owner. He’s 61, was capable of living by himself, and legally owned a firearm. His relative did not have the means to enter the home, which is why he requested agents of the state to conduct a welfare check. In Maryland, the local police conduct these. The problem is, Fire/EMS don’t have the authority to break and enter a home, unless there is a clear emergency. “I haven’t been able to contact for several days…he’s a diabetic…he’s been depressed lately…” these reasons do not constitute a good and sufficient reason, under the law, for Police to break and enter, without a warrant. Since fireman/ems are not sworn officers, they have even LESS authority and immunity than to police.

        I am confident that if there was a chargeable offense committed by the home-owner, he would have been charged by PG county.

      6. It sounds like they need to change their procedure then.

        More to the point, what was wrong with the guy? Why didnt he respond to his relatives? The flashing lights?

        I don’t think we have heard the end of this one. However, I am not a betting woman…..

      7. Steve Thomas

        @MoonHowler

        Asperger Syndrome is classified a type of autism. Autism is the umbrella under which several syndromes are grouped.

        https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/asperger-syndrome

        Adam Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was 13, according to his father. His mother couldn’t comment. Adam shot her in the head, then broke into her gun safe, and proceeded to Sandy Hook elementary.

        Am I saying all people diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome are dangers to the community? No. What I am saying is should someone diagnosed with this commit a felony crime, they shouldn’t get a “pass” because they have a diagnosis.

      8. Asperger Syndrome demonstrates very differently than what is generally classified as autism. Most Asperger syndrome kids/people are academically high functioning.

        You also have to admit that looking at something (regardless of what) is not the same as shooting and killing classrooms of teachers.

        Actually it was in Irongate in the late 70’s. Looking back on it, prison wouldn’t have been the answer for this rapist either. He was mentally retarded and emotionally disturbed. He needed to be incarcerated in a mental health facility like John Hinkley.

        I don’t equate the two situations Like I said, I will eat a plate of crow if we find out Mikey is a serial kiddy porn watcher.

      9. If you were in a fist fight I would hope that the other person were also charged.

      10. I need to know what diversion is.

      11. @Steve Thomas

        I tend to not want people in prison if there is an alternative. For instance, remember about 10 years ago when a father of too many children left a little one in the family van? The child died.

        Unlike many people, I didn’t want that man to go to prison even though his behavior was careless and he tried to pass the buck onto one of the kids.

        The sin of it all, in my opinion, was having more children than the couple could adequately care for. The carelessness was unintentional and tragic.

        Do I think the family should be monitored by social services until there are no longer minor kids in the house? Probably. But prison? What on earth would that have done for him or the family.

        As for the “pervert” in the bathroom with your daughter….that same “pervert” has been in the bathroom with your son. Actually I think that the son situation presents more of a risk. 9 year old girls are usually in the bathroom with their mothers. 9 year boys are often not with their mothers or fathers.

  3. Ed

    You don’t “find” kiddie porn on the internet. Perhaps the suspect was set up by an anti-porn activist that was trolling online and he took the bait and got trapped. I’d want to know how many objectionable files were found and over what time period before passing judgement.

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