Friday, January 22, 2010

Brian Bothun pleads guilty to porn charge

Former mid-Peninsula journalist Brian Bothun pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of possession of pornography, the Menlo Park Almanac reports.

Bothun has worked at all three Palo Alto newspapers: as an intern at the Palo Alto Weekly in the early 1990s, a reporter and editor at the Palo Alto Daily News from 1996-2005, and as a reporter for one month at the Daily Post in 2008.

Sentencing is set for April 6, said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Bothun faces a sentence of up to 204 days in county jail -- the 180-day maximum jail sentence, plus an additional day for each of the 24 pornographic images on his computer, Wagstaffe said.

Bothun was arrested on child pornography charges in March 2008, when his partner called Atherton police to report domestic violence. When police officers showed up, he told them about pornographic material on Bothun's computer, according to Wagstaffe.

Bothun was also charged at the time with possession of a glass pipe, which is considered drug paraphernalia. He has been out of jail on $100,000 bail, but has been arrested twice since on drug-related charges: once in July 2008 in Menlo Park, and again on April 5, 2009, in Santa Clara.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

All the papers accept blame for employing this guy. Yet how common is this? Check your hard drive (no pun intended).

Lawrence T said...

It's interesting that the Daily Post put Bothun's plea on the front page Saturday. Dave Price didn't dodge this one. Yet the Daily News, where Bothun had worked for a decade, buried the story inside with a small headline. That tells you a lot about the two daily papers in Palo Alto.

Anonymous said...

While at the Daily News, Bothun uncovered the fact that the Atherton police chief at the time had been voting in Atherton elections even though he lived in Menlo Park. That forced the chief from his job, and his officers have had it in for Bothun ever since.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Bothun is guilty or innocent, but I do know that when he was at the Daily News, the paper was very aggressive when it came to investigative reporting. Today, the Daily News is a bunch of press releases dressed up as news stories.

Anonymous said...

Given his journalistic temperament, the only thing that makes sense is that Mr. Bothun's idealism ends with the printed word. I just can't imagine him taking any kind of deal and missing the opportunity to show how police do things in court.

It had to have come down to money or the threat of some nasty federal charges, methinks. I'm fairly certain this guy is not a porn-peddling pedo who needs to be put away.

A pain in the ass reporter is one thing. A royally pissed off one who just spent a few months listening to inmates' stories in jail is quite another.

Michael G. Stogner said...

The DA's Office didn't want anybody to see the photos from the start.

R.E.A.C.T. Task force was involved.

The DA offered a huge plea the day after Atherton resident Jon Buckheit's case discovered through testimony of an Atherton Police Officer, that another APD Officer committed a felony against Mr. Buckheit.

I have sent an e-mail to all San Mateo County leaders expressing my concern for his safety.

San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has hired the ex Chief of Police for the Town of Atherton one Robert Brennan, he just happens to work at the jail.