Bennie Richardson – Boy Scout Leader – Child Pornography

A judge this morning quadrupled the bail for a Houston man accused of downloading hundreds of illegal videos and photographs of child pornography.

Bennie Richardson was being held in lieu of bail totaling $150,000 on three counts of possession of child pornography, but state District Judge Mike Anderson raised the total to $600,000.

Police said they have learned that Richardson, 37, worked with a Pasadena children’s theater.

“He was a volunteer and helped with children’s workshops,” Assistant District Attorney Eric Devlin said.

Investigators initially believed Richardson was a Boy Scout leader and Sunday school teacher at the time of his arrest on July 25. Although Richardson is an Eagle Scout, Devlin said after today’s brief hearing that the suspect was not a Scout leader.

Jason Volz, spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ Sam Houston Area Council, confirmed today that Richardson has been an Eagle Scout since 1986.

Interviews with Richardson’s neighbors led investigators to believe his Boy Scout troop had disbanded recently, but that he was still active, Devlin said. He said investigators have not determined whether Richardson is affiliated with a church.

His attorney, Randy Martin, said Richardson is neither a Boy Scout leader nor a Sunday school teacher. He also said Richardson did not try to molest children, although he did volunteer briefly with a local children’s theater group.

“He doesn’t even go to church,” Martin said. “And he wasn’t ‘out on the prowl.'”

Martin said Richardson denied ever downloading illegal videos and photos. He said Richardson told him that computers can download information without the owners’ consent.

Investigators, however, said Richardson told them how he searched for child pornography online and that he watched videos, showing children being forced to engage in sexual acts, “to relax.”

Published in: on August 1, 2008 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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