Friday, December 7, 2012
WALLA WALLA — A College Place man who is one of the moderators of a locally popular Facebook page made his first appearance in court today after being arrested for child pornography.
David N. Polk, 55, of 427 S.E. Eighth St., College Place appeared before Walla Walla Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht, who set bail at $25,000 and assigned James Barrett as the defense attorney for the case.
Polk, who police said is a moderator for the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Burger site on Facebook, was arrested by police Thursday at his home. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden said formal charges in the case were filed this morning.
According to a probable cause statement filed in Walla Walla County Superior Court today, Polk faces charges of five felony counts of dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit behavior and four felony counts of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit behavior.
The maximum penalty on each count is up to five years in prison, a fine of $10,000 or both.
According to the probable cause statement, the police investigation began in June when police received information Polk had digital images of nude teenage girls, aged 14-17, and that those photos had been transmitted electronically.
Police obtained a search warrant for Polk’s home and served it June 15. Police found multiple computers, and on at least three of the computers and five hard drives officers found files or folders containing depictions of “known minor females” exposing themselves.
According to the probable cause statement, one woman told police she was between 16 and 17 years old when Polk took multiple nude pictures of her and two other women told police they were 16 years old when he photographed them nude. A fourth woman said she was 14 and 15 years old when Polk took nude photos of her.
Police said in the probable cause statement that there were a large amount of slides and pictures showing other unidentified nude females who are believed to be under 18 years old. “Many of the pictures depicted females engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” the statement said.
In an earlier release, Officer Tim Bennett, Walla Walla police spokesman, said the investigation was a joint effort by officers with the College Place Police Department and the computer forensics detective of the Walla Walla Police Department.