Man gets 2nd child porn conviction

Defendant guilty of similar charges in case last month

July 21, 2000|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

Jurors pronounced a Sykesville man guilty of child pornography charges yesterday, less than two months after he was convicted of child pornography, child abuse, sodomy and a third-degree sex offense in a separate case.

William Russell Williams, 45, who lived in Westminster at the time of both incidents, was accused in the most recent case of instructing a 15-year-old boy to take pornographic digital photographs of himself.

The Sun is not publishing the name of the boy because of his age and the nature of the crime.

After deliberating for an hour and 45 minutes, the jury convicted Williams of three felony counts of soliciting, permitting and photographing a minor participating in pornographic acts.

Each count carries a sentence of 10 years in prison.

He also was found guilty of knowingly possessing child pornography, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.

The defendant is awaiting sentencing on his conviction last month for 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 both cases Sept. 13.

In the case that led to yesterday's conviction, the Westminster boy's grandmother testified that she sought a relationship in October between the boy and Williams, who she believed could teach him how to build a computer.

"The relationship started innocently enough. This was a woman trying to help her 15-year-old grandson, trying to find something positive in his life," Tracy A. Gilmore, Carroll County deputy state's attorney, said in her closing argument yesterday. "But she didn't know there was a darker side to Williams."

Earlier in the day, Williams took the witness stand.

He denied instructing the 15-year-old boy to take pornographic digital pictures of himself and said he was not aware the boy was taking such pictures.

He also denied giving the boy alcohol or buying him cigarettes, as the boy had testified.

Williams also stated that he was tired and under the influence of Prozac during an interrogation by Lt. Wayne Mann of Westminster City Police and admitted to whatever was necessary to end the 19-minute interview.

"I told him what he wanted to hear so we could take it up in court," Williams said.

During cross-examination by Gilmore, Williams mentioned that a third person was present in the house when the incident took place.

But Carroll County Circuit Judge Luke Burns Jr. instructed the jury that because Williams had never mentioned the witness before, jurors could assume the testimony the witness would have given would not be favorable to the defendant.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Fred S. Hecker attributed the boy's accusation to a desire for attention.

He noted that the grandmother reported the incident three days after being told about it by her grandson.

He said the boy had been abandoned by his parents and had attempted suicide in the year before the incident. Hecker said the boy's background made it "relatively easy to debunk [his] tale."

Neither Williams nor his attorney had any comment after the verdict was announced.

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