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Survivor’s Michael Skupin convicted of child pornography possession

A jury convicted Survivor cast member Michael Skupin for possessing child pornography, finding him guilty on four counts and innocent on two counts. He’ll be sentenced Dec. 27 and could go to prison for up to 16 years, four years per count.

The Detroit News reports that the “jury of eight women and four men deliberated only two and a half hours before returning their verdict,” and said that “Skupin, who testified in his own defense, maintained he did not access the images and didn’t know how they got on his computers.” His lawyer “argued several people—including seven of Skupin’s children and stepchildren—have access to the computers.”

Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, said in a statement, “The children in these videos and images were exploited, and each time the images were shared and viewed continued their suffering. My hope is that today’s conviction will bring some closure to the families and the children that are victims in this case.”

Skupin will face trial Monday for other charges related to racketeering, as prosecutors claimed he ran a Ponzi scheme. That investigation led them to a computer with the images on them.

The child porn trial began only yesterday, when, in a statement to People magazine, Skupin said, in part,

“This has been the longest, hardest, and most arduous 10 months of my entire life. Nothing compares to it. Family and friends have both shown up in a big way or have left my life completely.  I have witnessed a level of love I never thought possible—and also a level of judgement and abandonment that I never knew existed.

I am an ordinary man who raised 7 children financially, emotionally, spiritually, educationally, morally and to the best of my ability. I would never ever even consider doing what I’ve been accused of and I’m prayerfully optimistic that the evidence laid before the jury will show that beyond a doubt.

I was accused of something that was found on one of 18 work computers that hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people had access to over dozens of years, even while I was traveling.

I’m about to fight for my life and for my freedom in a very broken court system. I’ll be put in front of a jury of 12 people with no legal experience that I’ve never met before and they’ll largely decide on what the rest of my life looks like.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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