UPDATED: Child porn trial ends in conviction

David Polk, founder of a local Facebook page, faces five years in prison after a jury found him guilty of eight felony counts.

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WALLA WALLA — The jury in the David N. Polk child pornography trial convicted him of all eight charges late Wednesday afternoon.

He then was taken into custody. He faces five years in prison when he’s sentenced later.

The nine-woman three-man panel deliberated for about an hour before reaching its unanimous decisions.

Polk did not testify Wednesday during the defense side of his case.

For reactions and more details see Thursday’s Union-Bulletin.

Previous coverage is below.


WALLA WALLA — Four women, now in their 40s, testified steadfastly Tuesday at the David Polk child pornography trial they were younger than 18 when he took nude photos of them in the mid-1980s.

And they said he knew or should have known that.

Polk allegedly emailed three photos of one of the women to a male friend of hers in December 2011. Other photos were recovered by law enforcement who served a search warrant at his home the following June.

The prosecution is expected to rest its case today, after which the defense can present evidence.

Polk is the founder and primary moderator of the “Walla Walla Sweet Onion Burger” Facebook page, a site that tracks police and other emergency services radio traffic and tips from residents. The page has more than 9,000 followers.

One by one, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden called the women to the witness stand Tuesday afternoon to tell the nine-woman three-man jury how they met Polk — who then was in his late 20s — what happened at photo shoots at various locations in the local area and to identify several nude images of them displayed briefly on a screen in the courtroom through a PowerPoint presentation.

In particularly emotional testimony, the first woman, now 44, trembled with anger and humiliation as she tearfully testified she was 16 when Polk approached her at an area lake and asked her to pose for him. She said she later contacted him and he took some fully clothed shots. But sessions at the lake and on Government Mountain devolved into nude poses, ostensibly to send to Playboy magazine.

“He told me we had to wait until I was 18 to sign a contract,” she testified, later adding, “He told me not to say anything because if anybody found out I could get in a lot of trouble.”

She believed she had later retrieved all the images from Polk, but he allegedly emailed three of them to a male friend of the woman in December 2011.

When the man notified her of the photos several months later, she said she was angry, contacted Polk and told him over the phone, “I hope you rot in hell, and I’ve already called the cops and you’re messing with the wrong girl.”

The next woman to take the stand said she had just turned 16 when she met Polk through a female who had posed for him. The woman said she had wanted a portfolio. “I always wanted to be a model. I thought it would be cool.”

Now 44, she testified Polk asked her and her mother for written permission to take nude pictures “because I was underage.”

She only clearly remembers the final time she posed for Polk. The session was in a room he apparently rented at a house and she was naked.

“I just was really feeling icky,” which is why she stopped the photo shoots, she said.

“I was 16 ... He was sweating. It was grossing me out.”

She also told the jury she moved away and was barely 18 when she had her first child. The photos show no sign of her having been pregnant, the prosecution contends.

A 42-year-old woman testified next, saying she was in her junior year in high school when she met Polk. She went over to his house because she “was dating a guy at the time that I wanted some pictures to show him,” she told the jury.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Andrea Burkhart showed her slides with date stamps of 1990 and 1991. However, the woman said she posed nude for Polk only one time.

The final woman, now 43, told the jury she was 13 or 14 when she met Polk at a local teenage dance club. “It started out as OK pictures, then turned out not OK pictures,” she testified, explaining that she first modeled for him fully clothed for legitimate local commercial advertising.

“(Polk) wanted my mom and dad to sign a modeling contract because I was underage,” she said.

She identified for the jury three nude photos of herself, allegedly taken by Polk.

The woman said she moved from Walla Walla when she was 16 because her parents sent her to the Job Corps. She had her first child when she was 18, she said, and suffered stretch marks, which are not evident in the photos.

In cross-examinations, Burkhart clarified the women’s testimonies and at times pointed out inconsistencies.

But Burkhart grilled the man who received emailed images in December 2011 of the first woman who testified Tuesday. He said the photos were from a Facebook account of “TheD Man,” and he didn’t tell police or the woman until June 2012.

The man told the jury it took time to confirm “TheD Man” was Polk, to find the woman with whom he had lost contact and to figure out how to break the news to her.

But Burkhart suggested he came forward because a friend of his was in a dispute with Polk. She accused the man of blackmailing Polk, which the man denied.

During Tuesday’s court session, Polk — who reportedly is disabled — often looked down, conferred with Burkhart, wrote on a tablet and occasionally winced as if in pain while sitting at the defense table.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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Comments

ImJustSayin says...

No comments? Not even from the 9,000 plus who didn't seem to care when they "liked" his facebook page?

Posted 10 July 2013, 7:50 p.m. Suggest removal

kowboyboots says...

Children were violated. What should we say?

Posted 11 July 2013, 12:25 a.m. Suggest removal

VinoTinto says...

NOBODY likes a pedophile. That seems to be something that most people can agree on.

Posted 11 July 2013, 9:02 a.m. Suggest removal

Cowboy01 says...

I Bet he doesnt even get 3 years....

Posted 11 July 2013, 4:08 p.m. Suggest removal

wa2wiccan says...

i bet he doesn't get back on facebook again soon either

Posted 11 July 2013, 4:16 p.m. Suggest removal

cropcircles says...

how do we know he's not on Facebook, administrators of pages aren't public

Posted 11 July 2013, 6:20 p.m. Suggest removal

wa2wiccan says...

because he is in county jail. you can check the roster on sheriffs page

Posted 12 July 2013, 9:45 a.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

On a totally different but related topic....
I have tried to peruse the WW Co. Jail website... Any body else have a problem with it?
I am using: https://fortress.wa.gov/wallawallaco/...
.
Unless I list a name in the search bar, I can only view page #1.

Posted 12 July 2013, 11:35 a.m. Suggest removal

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