Richard Flores worked for The Seattle Times for more than 10 years, most recently as an accountant. Unfortunately, if prosecutors are right, then he also spent a good portion of that time secretly practicing his hobby: posting kiddie porn pictures on the Internet.
Apparently Flores has been in trouble for sex crimes before. In fact, he wasn't even known as Richard Flores, but as Richard Fortier, until he changed his name after he was accused of molesting his 10-and-12-year-old stepdaughters in the late '90s--convictions which he avoided by pleading guilty to lesser crimes.
Police say they learned about Flores' activities when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tracked child-porn photos on Flickr to an IP address registered at the Times' headquarters.
Eventually, the King County Prosecutor's Office subpoenaed the Times to give up the computers and they did, but not before wiping the hard drive on at least one of them.
Regardless, police say that although they didn't find any actual photos on his computer, they found thousands of search terms saved that show he was into just what they thought he was into. They also apparently found evidence that he accessed several Flickr photo albums known to contain kiddie porn.
In addition, investigators say they found incriminating e-mails that Flores sent, including one that said "My preference is 13-15 yr olds barely budding. But, as you can see, I appreciate all ages."
According to prosecutors, Flores is "a danger to children [and] a self-admitted child pornography addict. He has made inquires to others who share his interest in child pornography about their own children." He is being held at the King County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Despite prosecutors not actually finding any child porn on the man's computer, Washington law is pretty broad for what constitutes a crime relating to such images.
For example, the crime of "Dealing in depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct" states that a person is guilty if he or she:
(i) Knowingly develops, duplicates, publishes, prints, disseminates, exchanges, finances, attempts to finance, or sells a visual or printed matter that depicts a minor engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct . . .
(ii) Possesses with intent to develop, duplicate, publish, print, disseminate, exchange, or sell any visual or printed matter that depicts a minor engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct . . .
So simply proving that, at any point, Flores possessed and posted child pornography to the web should be enough to convict him.
And being that he already has a sexual criminal history, he's unlikely to find much inherent sympathy from a jury.
The Times, which fired Flores shortly after his arrest, had this to say about why they hired a sex criminal in the first place:
"We do not routinely do across-the-board criminal background checks in pre-employment screening. As a result, we did not learn of his prior legal issues"