Former mayor pleads guilty to 140 child pornography charges

Patrick Wojahn mugshot

Important Takeaways:

  • The former mayor of a Maryland college town pleaded guilty Wednesday to 140 charges stemming from child pornography possession and distribution, prosecutors said.
  • Patrick Wojahn had served as the mayor of College Park for about eight years before his resignation and arrest in March.
  • Wojahn pleaded guilty to 60 counts of distribution of child pornography, 40 counts of possession of child pornography, and 40 counts of possession of child pornography with the intention to distribute
  • “As a former elected official, the College Park Community put its faith and support in him to serve each resident and their best interests,” Braveboy said Wednesday. “Instead, he let them down in a most disgraceful way.”

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Oklahoma Assistant DA in jail for possessing child porn, unfortunately he’s not the only official who’s been busted for similar crime

Romans 1:28 “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Oklahoma Assistant D.A. Accused of Possessing Child Pornography
  • Kevin Etherington, 53, was charged with one count of aggravated possession of child pornography and one count of violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
  • On September 1, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children gave 14 cyber tips to the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children Division (ICAC), which ended up being linked to a single suspect, later identified as Etherington, the OSBI said in a statement.
  • District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas, whom Etherington worked for, announced that he was fired following the news of the charges, per the Oklahoman.
  • Etherington is currently being held in a Payne County Jail.
  • There have been several public officials who have recently been either accused or found guilty of possessing child pornography.
  • In October, Breitbart News reported that a Democrat former mayor from Beaverton, Oregon, Dennis Doyle, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.
  • In September, a Democrat former councilman from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 14 to 30 months in jail after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

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Accused sex cult founder could face former ‘slaves’ at New York trial

Actress Allison Mack departs the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse after facing charges regarding sex trafficking and racketeering related to the Nxivm cult case in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Joseph Ax and Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former self-help guru Keith Raniere goes on trial on Tuesday on charges of running a secretive New York sex cult that recruited female “slaves” who were then starved, branded with his initials and blackmailed into having sex with him.

Federal prosecutors have charged Raniere, 58, with using his cultlike Nxivm group, which claimed to offer members unique insights into life, as a front for crimes including sex trafficking, child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Several of his alleged “slaves” are expected to testify at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. While prosecutors have not said who will take the stand, former “Smallville” star Allison Mack and Seagram liquor heiress Clare Bronfman have already pleaded guilty to playing supporting roles in the scheme.

Jurors have been warned to expect disturbing testimony and evidence during a trial that could run six weeks. Prosecutors intend to introduce explicit photographs of a 15-year-old girl alleged to have been one of Raniere’s victims, seized from his computer hard drive.

Mack and Bronfman are among five co-defendants, all women accused of involvement in Nxivm, who pleaded guilty to various charges in March and April, leaving Raniere as the sole person to face trial. The television actress tearfully acknowledged in court that she had blackmailed two women into providing services for her and other Nxivm members.

Bronfman, who provided key financial support for Nxivm, pleaded guilty in April and agreed to forfeit $6 million.

Raniere has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Marc Agnifilo, one of Raniere’s lawyers, has said that his client’s sexual encounters with women in the organization were consensual and denied the child pornography and exploitation charges.

The trial caps a bizarre saga for Raniere, who was arrested in March 2018 after fleeing to Mexico with Bronfman.

Nxivm, which started under another name in 1998 and is pronounced “Nexium,” was based in Albany, New York, and at one time operated numerous centers across the United States, Canada, Central America and Mexico.

The organization marketed itself as a business “providing educational tools, coaching and trainings” that would allow “humanity to rise to its noble possibility,” according to court filings.

In 2015, prosecutors say, Raniere established a sorority within Nxivm known as DOS, an acronym for a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “master of the obedient female companions.”

The subgroup included “slaves” who were expected to bend their wills to “masters” in a pyramid-like structure, with slaves expected in turn to recruit their own subordinates and Raniere standing alone at the top.

The slaves were required to submit “collateral” to win acceptance that could then be used as blackmail material: Nude photos, rights to their financial assets or damaging information about friends and relatives, prosecutors said.

Several women were branded with Raniere’s initials, prosecutors said, and they were required to engage in sexual acts with him. He is also accused of having forced some women to maintain slim figures by following a dangerously restrictive diet.

If convicted, Raniere faces up to life in prison.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Brendan Pierson; editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)