Popular Liberal Talk Show Host Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Popular liberal radio talk show host Bernie Ward (or “slave” as he liked to be called in the chat rooms) pleaded guilty to child porn charges today.

Bernie Ward catches a ride in San Francisco. (FOX News)

Progressive radio host Bernie Ward admitted to a child porn plea deal today.
SFGate reported:

Bernie Ward, the most prominent liberal voice on Bay Area talk radio for more than two decades, admitted Thursday to distribution of child pornography by e-mail in a plea deal that will send him to federal prison for at least five years.

Ward, 57, a former Roman Catholic priest, was a fixture on KGO-AM 810 for three hours every weeknight, known in recent years for his fervent denunciations of President Bush and the war in Iraq during his news talk show. He also hosted “God Talk,” a Sunday morning program on religion, and was a prolific fundraiser for the station’s charity drives.

But his career disintegrated Dec. 6 with the unsealing of a federal grand jury indictment, issued three months earlier, that charged him with two counts of distributing and one count of receiving Internet images of child pornography. KGO fired him Dec. 31.

At a 30-minute hearing in federal court in San Francisco, Ward admitted he was guilty of a single charge of distributing child pornography, saying it involved “exchanging an image of a minor engaged in sexually explicit activity” in December 2004. The plea agreement he signed, quoted in court, contained an admission that he had sent between 15 and 150 pornographic images via e-mail.

…Ward initially pleaded not guilty and said he had downloaded a few pornographic images over several weeks as research for a book on hypocrisy among Americans who preach morality in public.

ABC7 had more on the child porn charges in a special report back in February:

It’s Christmas week, three years ago. Ward’s on his home computer using the screen name “Vincentlio.” He begins the chat with “Good afternoon, mistress.” The woman using the name “Sexfairy” answers, “How was your day, slave?” In explicit detail, Ward describes being humiliated sexually. At one point, he asks, “Are you going to make me feel dirty, mistress?” “Sexfairy” answers, “Yes, I am.”

Ward discusses group sex he had at an infamous porn theater in San Mateo. Then, nearly an hour into the conversation, he brings up photographs, “I love trading pictures.” “Sexfairy” answers, “and why haven’t I gotten any pics, slave? Send me some.”

Ward sends several pictures — one of a woman and two children. Ward describes her as a mother in her late thirties, she’s topless. He says the naked boy is 14, that the girl wearing clothes is 12. They’re all touching in a sexual way.

“Sexfairy” writes, “brb,” (be right back). A half hour later, she’s on the phone with police, reporting Bernie Ward for child porn. They tell her to keep chatting with Ward.

“It would be important to the case to gather as much information as possible in support of bringing charges against the person that’s sending these pornographic messages,” says Chief West.

In the days that follow, “Sexfairy” asks Ward for more pictures — he complies. Then, police get a search warrant for Ward’s AOL account. E-mail sent and received by “Vincentlio” had pictures attached.

An investigator writes, “several of the photographs depicted children engaged in or simulating sexual acts with adults or other children.” The ages of the children in the pictures — 4 to 17 years old

Previously:
Details Emerge On Popular Liberal Radio Host’s Child Porn Charges

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