(Story broke 6/14/2017)
37-year-old Danny Ray Murphy was a firefighter in Pace, Florida. He was arrested earlier this year for trading child porn on mobile messaging app Kik. This past Wednesday he was found guilty on child porn charges. What was interesting about this story was Murphy’s defense. Murphy’s defense was he was trying to save the boy who was depicted in the explicit images he had been receiving on Kik.
Murphy had received images from a Kik user by the name of ‘lovelilpple’, that were of a 3-year-old boy who was being sexually abused. This ‘lovelilpple’ person, and I use that term as loosely as possible, claimed the boy was in his custody. The man behind the ‘lovelilpple’ screen name was Charles Hoyt McConnell III, of Pensacola, Florida, and he had also been arrested and is awaiting trial.
(UPDATE 12/19/2017: McConnell has been sentenced to three life sentences plus 495 years for raping a 3-year-old boy and sharing videos of the abuse online.)
During Murphy’s trial, he testified he was on Kik because he was bi-curious and wanted to meet other men. When approached by McConnell about child porn, Murphy claims he received the images so he could find McConnell, save the boy, and bring ‘lovelilpple’ to justice. Thankfully, the jury didn’t buy it. This kind of story is just a more elaborate version of when the guys caught during ‘To Catch a Predator’ would say they showed up to teach the child a lesson about internet safety. It seems the more elaborate and outlandish the story, the more guilty a suspect is.
Murphy is looking at 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in late August.