Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Charles Judson Holbrook - Repeat Sex Offender - Compulsive Child Predator

A convicted sex offender is working to reach a plea agreement with Kent County prosecutors after appearing in court Wednesday on charges of photographing naked girls.

Charles Judson Holbrook, 72, waived his probable cause hearing in Wyoming District Court in order to preserve a tentative plea agreement.

He is charged with two 20-year felonies for allegedly creating child sexually abusive material, and the lesser charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of child sexually abusive material and accosting children for immoral purposes.

Wyoming Police said they found photos of a 14-year-old girl and another unidentified girl, posing naked, in Holbrook's possession. Police said the girls who were photographed lived near the suspect's Longstreet Avenue SW home and the background in some of the photos appeared to match the interior of Holbrook's home.

If he pleads guilty to child sexually abusive commercial activity, possession of firearms by a felon and accosting children for immoral purposes, Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Kevin Bramble said the state would dismiss a second count of abusive commercial activity and two counts of possession of child sexually abusive material.

If convicted on the plea deal, Holbook still faces 20 years behind bars.

The elderly Holbrook, breathing heavily, at first wanted to have his probable-cause hearing run; there was at least one of the alleged victims waiting to testify. But Judge Pablo Cortez suggested that Holbrook think carefully before making a decision and Bramble, anxious to avoid putting the girl through the trauma of testifying, laid out what Holbrook faced to the judge.

"I can all but guarantee you -- and more importantly, guarantee the defendant -- if he runs the preliminary exam, there will be other charges," said Bramble, pointing out that he would not issue further similar charges if Holbrook waived the exam.

Bramble said investigators were waiting for school to begin so other girls in the pictures could be identified.

After taking a break to talk to his attorney, Joseph Smigel Jr., Holbrook agreed to waive the hearing. He still can reject the plea deal at a later date in Kent County Circuit Court.

Police began investigating earlier this month after Child Protective Services reported photographs being taken of children. Detectives and staff at the Children's Assessment Center in Grand Rapids interviewed alleged victims, which led to a search warrant at the suspect's house.

Police removed photos, computers, handguns and a long-gun that led prosecutors to file charges. State police were examining Holbrook's computers.
Bramble said Wednesday police found evidence that after he was banned from being on school grounds, Holbrook set up a telephoto camera and took shots of students at Rogers High School from the nearby parking lot of the former Studio 28.

Bramble said that even as a search warrant was used to search Holbrook's home, he was at Pinery Park photographing girls playing softball.

The retired railroad worker was accused in 2000 of taking nude photos of as many as 40 girls -- pre-teens and teenagers -- over the previous 30 years. In that case, he pleaded guilty to charges that he took nude photographs of girls he befriended as a longtime sports fan and booster club volunteer at Wyoming and Godfrey Lee schools, and had sex with a 15-year-old girl.
He was sentenced to one year in jail.

Cortez on Wednesday refused to lower Holbrook's $500,000 bond, saying the man represented a potential threat to the public and his behavior shows he may have impulses that he is unable to control.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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