Read for yourself what Bernie Ward pleaded guilty to yesterday, and the possible sentence he faces. As we reported, it’s one count Distribution of Child Pornography. But, here are the elements of the crime.
Ward distributed the image via interstate commerce because he used AOL -- the image went from Ward’s home in San Francisco to AOL’s servers in Virginia to Sex Fairy’s computer in Oakdale, California. The image was “an actual minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” During the on-line chat with Sex Fairy, Ward described the image as a fourteen-year-old boy, a twelve-year-old girl and young mother. The boy was naked, the girl clothed, and the mother topless -- they were all touching in a sexual way. He also confirms he sent between 15 and 150 images of child pornography, including several that “involved sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” That’s not the idea that Ward’s supporters floated after his arrest in December -- that he had innocent images of a family in a nudist colony.
Ward also confirms he understands he may not be able to vote after his felony conviction -- another interesting twist for a radio host who was so involved in the political process.