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SF radio personality indicted on child porn charges

Bernie Ward, a popular liberal San Francisco radio talk show host and former Catholic priest, has been indicted on federal child pornography charges, authorities said today.

Ward, 56, surrendered to federal authorities earlier today but the specifics of the allegations against him are under seal, officials said.

Ward hosts a nightly news talk program on KGO 810 AM as well as GodTalk on Sundays. He had been a priest with the Society of the Precious Blood order.

The radio station’s Web site said that he was indicted on two counts of child pornography using the Internet.

Ward’s attorney said today that the charges are based on incidents that occurred more than four years ago and were part of research for a book.

As everybody knows, Bernie, for over 20 years, has been a progressive, opposed to insensitive authority – he has been a champion of charities, nonprofits for the homeless,” said Doron Weinberg, who appeared in federal court today as Ward’s lawyer.

Well, he sure can’t complain about insensitive authority on this one.

“More than three years ago, Bernie was doing research for a book he was doing on hypocrisy in America,” Weinberg said.

As part of the research, Ward downloaded “a few images” of child pornography, and, Weinberg said, “it came to the attention of the government in late 2004.”

“They investigated and they never found any involvement in child pornography other than this period that he accessed these images,” Weinberg said. “The government knows that Bernie was doing this for an investigation he was doing for a book. But the government believes he violated the letter of the law and they have gone ahead and prosecuted him.”

The schmuck lieyer must be confused. Shouldn’t it be that his client is being persecuted? Or, does that cat come out of the bag a bit further down the road?

Weinberg stressed that “the fact that these events happened three years ago and they are just being prosecuted shows the fact that nobody believes that he is a child predator.”

“He is just being prosecuted for a mistake he made (more than) three years ago,” the lawyer said.

Federal authorities seized Ward’s computer in early 2005 and there was no evidence of child pornography or any other impropriety, Weinberg added.

“We have been trying to convince the government that his is not something they should proceed with. They said, ‘He violated the law, sorry.’ ”

A statement from KGO’s operations director said, “Ward has been a valued, long-time employee of KGO Radio. We were just recently made aware of these serious charges and are surprised and concerned by their nature.

“As the matter is currently pending in federal court, we will have no additional comment at this time.”

Via SF Gate.com

Also at The Radio Equalizer & IMAO

Interview with Ward’s criminal defense attorney by KGO news staff

UPDATE I: Ward’s agent blames Bush

UPDATE II: They’re all over it at PuffHo

UPDATE III: Attorney says Ward downloaded photos and exchanged them “with adults who do the same thing.”

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11 thoughts on “There’s Research; Then There’s Research

  1. Radicalron

    Probably should change that headline to "San Francisco Radio Personality indicted….".

    SF means something rather different in a Northern Ireland context and you run the risk of giving some of the regulars here a coronary when they click on this morning!

  2. If innocent he’s guilty of being an idiot who should have known better.

    There are at any given time hundreds of federal agents investigating child porn and the pond life that makes it and distributes it. Ward could easily have approached an agency and requested advice. He’d have got "better" material than he could have found unaided.

  3. The comments at the Huffpo article are quite unbelievable if you don’t know Liberals…

    "Looking at child porn was a lapse in judgement, definitely, but it’s no more fair to label all pedophiles as bad people than it is to assume that all people of any other unchosen sexual preference are amoral.

    Besides, it’s not as if soceity actually gives pedophiles any healthy option to deal with their sexuality; do you think the image of pedophiles as pornographers and abusers being constantly spread by the media helps anyone?"

    Or this bit of wonderful Bush Derangement Syndrome:

    "Oh, come on! Bush is president, appointed the federal prosecutors who are out to get all the liberals, progressives and Democrats. It’s pure bunk and a witchhunt to get Ward for being a leftist. Anyone who has listened to Ward knows this is bunk except for those on the right with their agenda of gaining power regardless of what crimes they have to do. I guess Ward should be glad that they didn’t just put a bullet between his eyes or go after his family. Makes you wonder how many unsolved killings of activist leftists are hits by Bush appointees and buddies. Probably can tell by looking to see which ones the cops aren’t bothering to try to solve."

    Oh. My. And that’s just the first six comments. Welcome to the world of the moonbats.

  4. Hasn’t the "research" excuse for looking at child porn been done to death by now? Oddly enough the results of the research never seem to get published.

  5. Bernie is a know-it-all bully. He has all the Jewish
    attorneys and Disney runs his radio show. Nobody
    cares about the children. He is another priest,
    pervert hiding under the guise of liberal media.
    KGO should fire him.

  6. Even if he’s found to be innocent?

    Well yes, if Disney runs his radio show there’s a good reason right there.

  7. "He has all the Jewish
    attorneys and Disney runs his radio show"

    There’s always one barking Nazi lunatic every few days isn’t there…there must be a factory somewhere.

  8. Incredible that there are still fools who think thay can download this filth privately and get away with claiming it was ‘research’.

  9. Sex crimes and the Vatican documentary by Panarama


    "A secret document which sets out a procedure for dealing with child sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church is examined by Panorama.
    Crimen Sollicitationis was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the Pope.

    It instructs bishops on how to deal with allegations of child abuse against priests and has been seen by few outsiders.

    Critics say the document has been used to evade prosecution for sex crimes."

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