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November 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Ex-Times employee pleads guilty to child-porn charge

A former Seattle Times employee pleaded guilty yesterday to distribution of child porn. Because he has a prior conviction for communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, Richard Flores faces a mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Flores, 58, of Seattle, caught the attention of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after the organization’s investigators were contacted by Yahoo.com. The company reported that 252 images of mostly young girls in explicit poses or engaged in sex with adults had been posted to a Flickr account.

The Internet address of the computer from which the photos were uploaded was at The Seattle Times, according to the complaint.

Detectives seized that computer and another which had been used by Flores. Meantime, The Times conducted an internal investigation and alerted police that Flores’ web activity log indicated he had uploaded child pornography while at work, according to the complaint. Flores, who had worked as a clerk in The Times’ finance department, was fired. He was arrested in April.

Investigators learned that Flores changed his name from Richard Fortier. In 1996, as Fortier, he was charged with having molested two female relatives, ages 10 and 12. Just before trial, Flores was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, according to the complaint.

He was sentenced in that case to six months in jail and two years of probation.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: child porn, U.S. Attorney's Office

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