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Seven indicted in child porn case

Treatment patients all plead not guilty

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Seven residents of a treatment center for sex offenders were indicted on child pornography charges after apparently obtaining illicit images while at the heavily secured facility.

In unsealing the indictments Thursday, federal prosecutors said they didn’t know how the defendants, who are prohibited from using the Internet, obtained the pornography, which allegedly was stored on their computers at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. Among the possibilities: via the mail or from a visitor or staff member.

The seven men entered not guilty pleas during initial court appearances in Seattle on Thursday.

“We cannot allow these sex offenders to be part of the market for horrific pictures of child sexual abuse,” U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan said in a news release. “With these indictments we are putting the residents at the SCC, and anyone who is assisting them in obtaining child pornography, on notice that they will be prosecuted.”

About 270 sex offenders live at the center, having been involuntarily committed for treatment after their prison terms because they are deemed too dangerous to release. If convicted, any of the defendants would face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, and up to 20 years.

Contraband has been a recurring problem at the center. Previously, three other residents were arrested – two for having child porn and one for drugs.

“There is an ongoing investigation as to the source of this,” said Steve Williams, a spokesman for the Department of Social and Health Services, which runs the center.

“Right now we just don’t know. But we’re the ones who found the porn and turned it over to the feds because they have stricter penalties.”

Among those charged were: David T. Fair, 43; Donald Gene Gamer, 62; Alfred Kistenmacher, 68; Keith Jonathon Rogers, 69; Robert Whitney Sheaffer, 65; John Leonard Strand, 50; and Barry Lewis Taylor, 57.

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