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Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane attorney sentenced to 5 years in child porn case

A longtime Spokane attorney was sentenced to five years in federal prison Friday on charges he received child pornography that was discovered on an iPad at a grocery store.

Kenneth K. Watts, 66, pleaded guilty in July to a single count of receipt of child pornography. Investigators were alerted to Watts by an employee at an Albertson’s in north Spokane in May 2014. The employee found an iPad tablet computer that had been left in a shopping cart at the store and turned it on in an effort to discover the owner. Child pornography was found on the tablet, and the employee called police, who confiscated the device.

Watts returned to the store to retrieve the iPad, according to court records. A week later, he gave a statement to police admitting he’d downloaded pornographic images of children, and more than 900 images were found on the iPad, according to court records. A subsequent search of his home after he was indicted in April found more illicit material, bringing the total to more than 2,500 images, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern Washington.

Watts had been admitted to practice law since November 1975, according to the Washington State Bar Association. He specialized in bankruptcy and civil litigation, practicing out of his home at 4920 N. Nevada St. and had not been cited for disciplinary action. He voluntarily resigned as a licensed attorney.

During his professional career, Watts provided counsel for federal defendants who could not afford an attorney through the Criminal Justice Act, his attorney wrote in a motion recommending the five-year minimum sentence. Watts also had no other criminal history, according to court records, and is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush sentenced Watts to 10 years of supervision upon his release, and Watts will be required to register as a sex offender. Watts was also ordered to forfeit $5,000 in lieu of losing his home.

The case was investigated by the Spokane Police Department and the FBI.

Watts is not listed in custody and is being allowed to self-report to prison. Quackenbush ordered Watts remain on electronic home monitoring until turning himself in.

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