Tabernash child porn suspect pleads not guilty | SkyHiNews.com

Tabernash child porn suspect pleads not guilty

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

“Not guilty” was the plea entered in a Hot Sulphur Springs courtroom last week by a local man accused of trafficking in child pornography.

The 47-year-old Tabernash man entered the not guilty plea before Judge Mary Hoak of the 14th Judicial District Court last Thursday, Feb. 7. He is charged with two felony offenses ” “sexual exploitation of children: possession of materials,” and “sexual exploitation of children: sell/publish.”

As a result of the defendant’s not guilty plea, Judge Hoak set a motions hearing on his case for May 21. She also scheduled June 15 as the date for a jury trial on the child pornography charges that he is facing.

What led to those charges was information provided last summer to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI allegedly identified the Tabernash man through his AOL Internet addresses as the sender and the receiver of child pornography from two other suspects involved in child pornography cases.

On Sept. 5, Grand County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the man at his Tabernash residence. Seized under a search warrant were two computers and 230 computer-printed images described by Sheriff’s investigators as “explicit sexual content” involving young girls.

The Tabernash man was incarcerated in the Grand County Jail at Hot Sulphur Springs and remained behind bars for 117 days before he bonded out Jan. 2. He posted a $6,000 bond to be released.

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During his incarceration, additional charges were brought against the accused man in late September. Those charges were prompted by the discovery of a young girl’s panties that were found by Sheriff’s investigators among the man’s belongings during the Sept. 5 search of his Tabernash residence.

A subsequent investigation by the Sheriff’s Office led to charges of stalking, burglary and theft also being brought. The Sheriff’s investigation accused the Tabernash man of stalking an ex-girlfriend for several months before he allegedly broke into her house to steal the underwear belonging to her young daughter.

A plea agreement on those additional charges was worked out last fall between the defendant’s public defender and the District Attorney. As a result of that plea agreement, the Tabernash man pleaded guilty to a charge of second degree trespassing on Dec. 18 before Judge Ben McClelland in the Grand County Court.

Also during that Dec.18 arraignment, Judge McClelland found sufficient grounds on the two child pornography charges to order the defendant’s case to be bound over to the District Court for further action.

On Jan. 10, the Tabernash man made his first appearance before Judge Hoak who sentenced him on the second-degree trespassing charge. He was placed on one year of supervised probation, ordered to perform 48 hours of public service and ordered to pay $1,032 in fines and court costs. He was not given any additional jail time because he had already served 117 days in the county jail.

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