File photo

Johannesburg - A man alleged to have recorded his stepdaughter with a secret camera and to have thousands of images of children on his laptop has been acquitted of child pornography charges after a court found the pictures had been manipulated.

Chad Robinson, 45, who appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, said in a phone interview he had been arrested more than a year ago after his former wife, Maliska Robinson, accused him of creating child porn.

He was charged with multiple counts of manufacturing and possessing child porn.

Robinson said he did not know the motive for his former wife’s malicious allegations. He thought they might have to do with his refusal to give his former wife financial assistance after they separated.

“She did warn me that she would hand a laptop over to the police with images of child pornography on it if I did not succumb to her demands. She also threatened to have me arrested for child molestation if I failed to pay her a sum of money.”

His wife acknowledged this under oath in court.

“I believe that her (fiancé) was sucked into this.”

Her fiancé had been her employer, Robinson said.

His former wife told police she had found the child porn images while removing her images and documents from a laptop she shared with Robinson.

In her statement in court, Maliska Robinson admitted having shown the images to at least two other people, including her fiancé, who was employed in the computer industry.

On February 19 last year, Chad Robinson engaged a private investigator and computer forensic examiner in Durban to study the images. The expert was able to prove to the court that the images had been manipulated, he said. Without the investigator, it would not have been possible to prove the charges were false.

“I don't know of anyone else who could have compiled a report like that,” he said.

Sunday Independent