A Newton man has accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors and admitted Wednesday to knowingly possessing child pornography he had produced in his home.
James Brock, 72, pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of child pornography in a change-of-plea proceding at the United States Courthouse in Des Moines. As part of his agreement with prosecutors, the other three charges he faced have been dropped.
U.S. District Judge John Jarvey accepted the plea and set a sentencing hearing for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 25, at which time Brock is expected to be sentenced to eight years in federal prison — another condition of the plea deal. After Wednesday's proceding, Brock was taken into custody.
As part of the plea deal, Brock admitted to the court that he knowingly possessed one or more computer files containing one or more visual depictions of child pornography, and that he knew they were visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. He also admitted the depictions of child pornography had been mailed, shipped or transported using a means of interstate commerce.
He further admitted to the court that he knowingly possessed VHS tapes containing one or more visual depictions of child pornography, and that he knew they were depictions of minor children engaging in sexually explicit conduct because he had produced them using cameras hidden in his residence to record teenagers using a tanning bed in his home. He also admitted the VHS tapes were produced using materials mailed, shipped or transported using a means of interstate commerce.
Brock also was forced to forfeit "property used in the commission of the offense." This included:
• 1,648 VHS tapes,
• three sleeves of DVD-R discs,
• three spindles of DVD-R discs,
• 25 DVDs,
• 18 receivers,
• two night vision cameras,
• an assortment of 14 other cameras,
• three DVD/VCR units, and
• two computer towers.
Brock also was ordered to forfeit his home located in the 800 block of East 14th Street South in Newton, including "all appurtenances, improvements and attachments thereon." He also was ordered to forfeit more than $44,000 in proceeds from a reverse mortgage on the home.
Agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection took possession of the home Wednesday; it will remain in federal custody until a final forfeiture order is entered by the court. Any property still in the home at the time was deemed to be abandoned. In the meantime, a contractor working on behalf of the government will:
• change the locks,
• install a contractor lockbox,
• install protective covering over the windows,
• winterize all plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems,
• conduct an initial property cleanup, inside and out, including the disposition of abandoned property, and
• make immediate repairs necessary to protect the property from deterioration.