Smithville man pleads guilty to child-pornography charges

The Kansas City Star
By BENITA Y. WILLIAMS
Date: 09/18/00 22:15

A 20-year-old Smithville man pleaded guilty Monday in Clay County Circuit
Court to creating a Web site to promote child pornography.

Christian Hunold also admitted making threats via the Internet and
telephone to frighten a girl in Townsend, Mass.

Hunold made the admissions Monday while pleading guilty to three felony
counts of attempting to promote child pornography and one misdemeanor
charge of harassment.

When sentenced in October, Hunold could face up to seven years in prison
and a $5,000 fine for each pornography count and up to a year in the
county jail and a $1,000 fine for harassment. Hunold remained free on
bond Monday.

Hunold answered “yes” or “no” Monday to most questions asked by his
attorney, Steven D. Wolcott, and Clay County Presiding Judge Michael J.
Maloney.

Hunold originally was charged with three felony counts of first-degree
child pornography promotion, five counts of second-degree child
pornography, five misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography and
three misdemeanor counts of harassment.

He pleaded guilty Monday under an agreement with Clay County prosecutors and the Missouri attorney general’s office.

The plea agreement does not affect the felony pornography and misdemeanor threat charges pending against Hunold in Massachusetts.

Hunold on Monday admitted to using his home computer Sept. 29, 1999, to
download three pictures that Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Baldwin said
showed children engaged in sex acts. Hunold also admitted putting the
pictures, titled “lilrape,” on a Web site he created.

“That was a substantial step toward promoting child pornography?” Wolcott
asked Hunold during the hearing.

“Yes,” Hunold said.

Hunold, who attended Maple Woods Community College at the time, also
admitted sending threats via the Internet in October to frighten a
Massachusetts girl he met in a chat room. Hunold also admitted using
personal information about the girl to try and make her believe she was
on a hit list of people at her school who would be shot. Hunold also said
he called the girl’s home to frighten her.

The case broke in October after Massachusetts investigators traced the
threats to Hunold.

On Oct. 22, officials with the Missouri attorney general’s office, along
with Smithville police and Massachusetts law enforcement, searched
Hunold’s home and seized computer equipment and software.

The case, along with other recent computer-related crimes, has spurred
Attorney General Jay Nixon to form a high-technology and computer crimesunit, said J. Dale Youngs, assistant attorney general.

To reach Benita Y. Williams, call (816) 234-5908 or send e-mail to
bwilliams@kcstar.com

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