Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bernie Ward kid porn trial set for June 9

A judge today scheduled a June 9 trial for former KGO-AM host Bernie Ward, who is charged with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Ward's attorney, Doron Weinberg, said outside of court that he is investigating whether his client could get the charges dropped by citing a First Amendment privilege since Ward said he was downloading and e-mailing the images while researching a book.

According to Bay City News, Weinberg also said he may argue that federal laws setting penalties for Internet child pornography are arbitrary and unfair. Possession of child porn carries penalties as light as no jail time while a conviction on the possession-and-distribution charge facing Ward requires a mandatory five-year sentence.

"The government has seized a moment in someone's life and treated him as though he were a lifelong predator, when even at worst he was someone who was involved for a matter of days," Weinberg said.

Ward said in the hallway of the San Francisco federal courthouse that his KGO-AM canceled his contract on Dec. 21, but that he and his agent are negotiating for a new contract and hope he will eventually return to the air.

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