Almanac

News - May 6, 2009

Bothun pleads not guilty

Brian Bothun, a former editor for the Palo Alto Daily News and former reporter for the Daily Post, entered a plea of "not guilty" to charges of possession of child pornography at an arraignment in a Redwood City courtroom on Friday, May 1, said Steve Wagstaffe, the San Mateo County chief deputy district attorney.

Superior Court Judge James Ellis set a date of Sept. 28 at 8:30 a.m. for Mr. Bothun's jury trial, with a pre-trial conference scheduled for Aug. 17 at 1 p.m., Mr. Wagstaffe said in an interview.

Comments

Posted by pery mason, a resident of another community
on May 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Remember, he's innocent until proven guilty. That goes for the Chief as well.


Posted by Troubled, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 6, 2009 at 12:23 am

I am troubled by a few aspects of the Brian Bothun case:

1. He is the newspaper reporter who uncovered unfavorable information about former Atherton Police Chief Cader that led to his criminal prosecution and subsequent resignation.

2. Mr. Wagstaffe has separately stated (though this has not been reported by the Almanac News) that the pictures of child pornography may look like adults to most of us, but experts can discern they are actually photos of individuals under 18. This makes it a very borderline case, as one might say if it takes an expert to discern that the subjects are children, how can it be proven beyond a reasonable doubt the Mr. Bothun knew they were children?

3. Child pornography cases are regularly prosecuted in the federal system, not the state system, as the federal system has stringent laws against child pornography with stiff penalties associated. My guess is the federal prosecutor declined to prosecute based on the issues in #2 above.

I sincerely hope this prosecution is not politically motivated. If it is, we should all be troubled. After all, as Pericles said, if you don't take an interest in politics, politics may take an interest in you.


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