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Soldotna man's child porn trial starts

Posted: January 23, 2013 - 10:43pm

A court trial began Tuesday for a Soldotna resident charged with felony possession of child pornography. Kevin Patterson was arrested on Dec. 30, 2010 in Mexico City, Mexico. He had evaded authorities for nearly a year.

The court trial, which is different from a jury trial as both parties argue before a judge rather than jury, follows years of hearings and out-of-court litigation. Patterson has remained in jail since his arrest, according to online court records.

The Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals is handling the case; Assistant Attorney General Marika Athens argued during opening statements that evidence seized from multiple devices would convince the court to convict the defendant. The defense argued the issue at stake was whether or not Patterson knowingly possessed the photos seized, which it believed prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Patterson, 40, was indicted Feb. 4, 2010 on ten felony charges: eight counts of possession of child pornography and two for distribution, which have since been dismissed. Authorities discovered more than 1,000 images and videos of child pornography. Some of the images included diapers, a recognized fascination of Patterson’s.

After a 2005 conviction in Minnesota for similar charges, Patterson moved to California then Alaska on an adult probation interstate compact transfer. As part of his sentence, he was not allowed to own or operate any computer with Internet access capabilities.

In April 2009, probation officer Jennifer Paz reported to the Soldotna Police Department that she believed Patterson was violating his conditions of release by accessing the Internet. Following further investigation, multiple computers and external hard drives were seized. A warrant was granted in June 2009 to search the devices.

Also in June 2009, Patterson was charged with failing to register as a sex offender and granted bail, but he failed to appear for a September hearing for that case. Authorities wrote in an affidavit that Patterson “fled the country to avoid prosecution for the knowing possession of child pornography.”

During the trial Wednesday, Athens called Paz as the first witness. Paz said she received “information that he was possibly using a laptop.” She did not specify where she received the information. Police discovered a laptop in a dishwasher at Patterson’s residence. His parents’ bed and breakfast was separately searched — Patterson lived with his parents before moving to a cabin in Soldotna.

Multiple devices were found in a single room of the bed and breakfast that visitors did not use, Athens said. On all of the devices, child pornography was found, she said.

“There was also an abundance of images of boys in (the 8- to 13-year-old) age range wearing diapers,” she said.

After hearing all the evidence, it will be clear that Patterson is guilty of the charges listed in the indictment, she said.

Defense attorney Shelley K. Chaffin argued Patterson followed his conditions of release while living in California, as well as completed a 52-week sex offender treatment program. Although, she noted, it is unclear whether he had access to computers during that time. He did have a digital camera.

Patterson was self-employed as a tour photographer before his evasion and arrest, according to court testimony.

“Then, all of the sudden, there was the seizure,” Chaffin.

The computer seized in Patterson’s cabin, she said, did not have pornography. It did have photos of boys with diapers, however, which is not against the law. There were no pornographic images on a separate hard drive found in Patterson’s backpack at the bed and breakfast, she said.

Authorities did not seize keyboards or computer mice, and they did not conduct finger printing to establish “identity or place.” A homemade computer was tested for DNA; authorities found no biological evidence linking Patterson to the computers.

The court lacks evidence that directly, physically ties Patterson to the computer, Chaffin said.

Athens’s second witness was Angela Worthy, a criminal justice technician with the Alaska Bureau of Investigations Technical Crimes Unit. The court recognized Worthy’s statements as expert testimony. When the prosecution solicited a response about why the unit does not check seized devices for viruses, she said it has not come across a virus that can place images onto devices remotely.

Chaffin had voiced concern over the lack of a virus scan during arguments about admissible evidence before the actual trial. She did not mention the argument during opening statements, however.

The court then proceeded to identify a number of images. The trial is expected to last until Friday.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at jerzy.shedlock@peninsulaclarion.com.

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Seafarer
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Seafarer 01/26/13 - 09:35 am
1
0

"Men" Like This Animal...

...Should be castrated. Until that is a law, then you have the courts to blame for child pornography. As long as fat, old white men are in places of power, that will never happen.

bob99507
361
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bob99507 01/26/13 - 01:35 pm
1
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Seafarer

"As long as fat, old white men are in places of power, that will never happen."
Are you sure?

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