Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stupid pedo busted in the library

Child Pornography Arrest

A Camarillo man is accused of not only viewing child pornography, but also keeping ropes, duct tape and candy in his vehicle.

Police say they arrested Richard Ballard on Monday while he was looking at a child pornography at a public library. Authorities booked Ballard for possession of child pornography.

Anyone who had contact with Ballard is asked to contact Camarillo Police.
Library visitor arrested in child porn probe
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Camarillo man was arrested Monday in the city's library after a plainclothes detective reported him viewing child pornography on the Internet, and a later investigation turned up "quite possibly thousands" of pieces of pornography in the man's home and "disturbing items" in his car, police said.

Richard Ballard, 57, was being held in Ventura County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail on suspicion of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.

The case began March 31, when a visitor at the Camarillo library saw a man viewing child pornography at one of the public Internet workstations, according to a statement from the Camarillo Police Department.

The visitor told the library staff, who in turn reported the incident to law enforcement.

The man was gone when deputies arrived, but his image was captured by security video cameras inside the library, authorities said.

He was seen again at the library about 12:30 p.m. Monday, and authorities said a staff member called the Southern California High Tech Task Force.
A plainclothes detective responded and saw the man viewing child pornography at a workstation in clear view of anyone nearby and took him into custody, authorities said.

A search of Ballard's residence revealed "possibly thousands" of images involving the sexual exploitation of children, police said.

Authorities said they found "disturbing items" — including blankets, ropes and duct tape — in the trunk of Ballard's car and a bag of candy in the glove box.

Ballard is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. His car is a white 1986 Cadillac El Dorado.

Anyone who has had suspicious or adverse contact with Ballard is asked to call Detective Kevin Donoghue at 383-8704.
Man's arrest after viewing child porn in library called a first

By Adam Foxman (Contact) Thursday, April 17, 2008

The arrest of a Camarillo man who was viewing child pornography at a public library was the first of its kind in the county, police and library officials said Wednesday.

Richard Gene Ballard, 57, was arrested Monday at the Camarillo Library after a plainclothes detective spotted him viewing child porn on a library computer, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

The Southern California High Tech Task Force, which includes the Sheriff's Department and the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, began investigating the case after someone reported seeing a man looking at child porn at the Camarillo Library on March 31.

The man left the library before detectives arrived that day, but he was captured on library security cameras. On Monday, a library employee spotted him and called police. A plainclothes detective responded and found him again looking at child porn, authorities said.

Investigators later searched Ballard's residence and found hundreds of sexually explicit images of children that had been printed from a computer, Detective Kevin Donoghue said. They also found blankets, ropes, duct tape and candy in Ballard's car, the detective said.

Ballard was booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of felony possession of child pornography and related misdemeanors. He was being held this week in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Although local libraries do not restrict Internet access for adults, authorities said Ballard's case is highly unusual.

"What I see is one isolated incident where the police responded perfectly," said Jackie Griffin, director of the Ventura County library system. "We have thousands of people a day using libraries and computers, and this is certainly the first case like this we have had."

Internet access for people under 18 is restricted at Ventura County libraries, but there are no filters for adult users, Griffin said. As part of a 1998 court settlement involving a lawsuit brought by the local Libertarian Party, the library system was ordered to provide unfiltered Internet access for adult patrons. A year earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court granted sweeping free speech rights to the Internet, overturning a federal law targeting online pornography.

Donoghue said he has investigated one other allegation of someone looking at child porn at the Camarillo Library but never identified a suspect in that case.

Ballard is not suspected of any crimes other than possessing child porn, Donoghue said. He had no prior criminal history in Ventura County.

Donoghue said anyone who might have had suspicious contact with Ballard can call detectives at 383-8704.