`Mentor' is accused in second child pornography case

Victim's grandmother, defendant's niece testify in man's trial

July 20, 2000|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

A Sykesville resident previously convicted on child pornography charges went on trial yesterday in a separate case in which he is accused of soliciting a 15-year-old Westminster boy for pornographic pictures while acting as the boy's mentor.

William R. Williams, 45, was charged with soliciting and permitting a minor to participate in the production of pornographic materials, photographing a minor engaged in an obscene act and knowingly possessing child pornography. He pleaded innocent to all charges in Carroll County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Luke Burns Jr. and a jury of nine men and three women heard opening statements and testimony by the state's witnesses and two defense witnesses yesterday.The trial will continue today at 10 a.m.

According to testimony, the victim's grandmother sought a mentor-type relationship for the boy with the defendant to further the boy's interest in building a computer.

Tracy A. Gilmore, deputy state's attorney, said in her opening statement that the boy went to Williams' home Oct. 24, 1999. The defendant was living in Westminster at the time.

During a taped interrogation by Lt. Wayne Mann of Westminster Police Department, which was played in court, Williams admitted photographing the boy. Williams claimed that the 15-year-old wanted to give the pictures to his girlfriend.

Jessica Smith, 18, one of the defense witnesses and niece of the defendant, testified that the boy told her the next day that he had taken the photos himself as a joke and asked her to tell the defendant to erase the digital photos.

In addition, Smith stated that the boy helped himself to a wine cooler, contrary to a statement by the boy, who had said that Williams gave him peach schnapps, which made him sleepy.

The boy takes medication and his grandmother testified that she had warned Williams about the interactions of the boy's drugs and alcohol.

The defendant, was convicted in June of luring a 14-year-old boy with alcohol, marijuana and money to pose for digital pictures and to participate with Williams in a pornographic video. Williams is to be sentenced in that case Aug. 8.

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