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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

June 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Feds: Ex-Times employee downloaded child porn at work

Posted by John de Leon

From Times staff reporter Mike Carter:

Federal prosecutors have charged a former Seattle Times employee with possessing and distributing child pornography in a complaint alleging he posted and downloaded sexually explicit images of young children from his work computer.

The complaint alleges Richard Flores, 58, of Seattle, caught the attention of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after the organization's investigators were contacted by Yahoo.com. The company reported that 252 images of mostly young girls in explicit poses or engaged in sex with adults had been posted to a Flickr account.

The Internet address of the computer from which the photos were uploaded was at the newspaper, according to the complaint.

Detectives seized that computer and another which had been used by Flores. Meantime, The Times conducted an internal investigation and alerted police that Flores' web activity log indicated he had uploaded child pornography while at work, according to the complaint. Flores, who had worked as a clerk in The Times' finance department, was fired. He was arrested in April.

Investigators learned that Flores changed his name in 2005 from Richard Fortier. In 1996, as Fortier, he was charged with having molested two female relatives, ages 10 and 12. Just before trial, Flores was allowed to plead to a lesser charge of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, according to the complaint.

He was sentenced in that case to six months in jail and two years of probation.

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