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December 23, 2008

Wade Rowland Saunders

Oh my, Wade Rowland Saunders has managed to get himself into a bit of bother. Saunders has just plead guilty to charges of possessing child porn.

Wade Rowland Sanders, a California lawyer who was an adviser to California's lieutenant governor and served in the Clinton administration, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of possessing child pornography, reported the San Diego Union Tribune.

Sanders admitted in federal court in San Diego of having 600 images of minors, including a 21-minute video that depicted girls engaging in sex acts with an adult man, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt.

Not good, not good. Actually, the film Wade Rowland Saunders had on his hard drive was worse than that description would lead you to believe. After all, a"minor" in most states could simply be a girl under 18.

Wade Rowland Sanders admitted to having 600 images of minors on his computer, including a video depicting "several prepubescent females engaged in sexual conduct with an adult male and performing oral sex on one another," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt.

FBI agents raided Sanders' home last May after they suspected his home Internet service account was used to download several pictures and a video showing underage girls having sex with adult men, according to an investigator's sworn statement.

"Sanders admitted that he had downloaded child pornography using the program Limewire but that he deleted the files once he noticed that they had been downloaded," FBI Special Agent John Caruthers said.

Ah, yes, the "I downloaded it by mistake" defence. Sometimes it's even true. However, there are other stories Saunders is telling.

Wade Rowland Sanders, 67, acknowledged in federal court in San Diego that last May, he possessed computer files containing 600 images of minors, including a 21-minute video that depicted girls engaging in sex acts with an adult man, according to court records. He was caught under a 2½-year-old Department of Justice investigation called Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego said.

Authorities arrested him Nov. 7.

In a telephone interview last night, Sanders said he had downloaded the files as part of his research for an article on the sexual exploitation of children in foreign countries. He said his work for the Clinton administration had included aiding victims of child sex abuse in the former Yugoslavia.

“I have no sexual attraction to children whatsoever,” Sanders said. “There was no evil intent.”

Sanders, a lawyer, said he didn't realize federal child pornography laws barred downloading or viewing the material even by researchers. He said that is why he decided to plead guilty.

“I thought since my motives were pure and innocent, that would make a difference,” he said. “I'm technically guilty of the crime.”

And that'sthe "I was only doing it for research" defence. Might work, who knows, after all, it has worked for others in the past. A certain very famous rock guitarist for example.

Here's the timeline of the case:

The following timeline, assembled by the Tribune, shows some of the key moments in the Wade Rowland Sanders investigation:

• October 2007: Investigation into Wade Rowland Sanders begins; FBI agents report finding pornographic images of children on a computer in Sanders’ home via a filesharing network

• May 2008: Agents seize Sanders’ computer; Sanders reportedly admits to having the images but says he deleted the files immediately after their downloads

• May 2008: The FBI finds multiple videos showing child pornography on Sanders’ hard drive, according to official documents obtained by the Tribune

• November 2008: Sanders is arrested

• December 2008: Sanders pleads guilty to one felony charge of possession of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct

December 23, 2008 | Permalink


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