Monday, July 21, 2008

Remsen Benedict School Bus Driver fighting Child Porn Charges

A Novato man who has been fighting child pornography charges for the past year might be ready to raise the white flag.

Remsen Benedict, appearing in federal court last week in San Francisco, faces another hearing on Aug. 19 for a potential plea in the case, his lawyer said.

"I believe it will be resolved on that date," defense attorney Geoffrey Dunham said. "There's going to be a resolution in some form."

Dunham declined to comment on any plea negotiations with federal prosecutors.

Benedict, a former bus driver for the Novato Unified School District and a former den leader for Cub Scout Pack 186 in Novato, was arrested last summer after police received a tip through a vigilante Web site called

The operators of the site, a spin-off of the watchdog group Perverted Justice, traced salacious pedophiliac comments that were posted under the alias "Wolfman" to a Web site and e-mail addresses belonging to Benedict, police said.

Benedict, 53, admitted later to police that he had downloaded more than 6,000 child porn photos and videos to his home computer, viewing the images during lunch breaks from work or while his wife was sleeping at night, according to court documents.

Benedict initially was charged in Marin Superior Court, but county prosecutors turned the case over to the U.S. attorney's office after federal prosecutors obtained a two-count indictment charging Benedict with receipt of child porn and possession of child porn.

Benedict could face up to 20 years in prison on the first count and up to 10 years on the other.

Benedict has not been accused of any sexual contact with children. He was placed under house arrest after posting $500,000 bail.

The school district fired Benedict in September.

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