Lewiston man confesses to viewing child porn on work computer

LOGAN — After more than five years since originally being charged, a 65-year-old Lewiston man has pleaded guilty to viewing child pornography on his work computer. Gregory Baker accepted a plea deal moments before his trial was about to begin.

Baker’s bench trial was in 1st District Court Thursday morning. He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, a third-degree felony.

As part of the plea, three remaining charges in the case were dropped.

Prosecutors originally charged filed the criminal case against Baker in 2016. On several occasions, he had been caught viewing images of young girls on his work computer, while employed as a mail delivery man for a Logan company.

During a preliminary hearing in 2018, the company’s IT Security Manager testified that they first became alarmed of Baker in December 2015, when suspicious material appeared on his work computer. Believing it could be Malware, the company set up a nearby camera and computer program to monitor its use. Six months later they called police after determining he was using internet search engines to view pictures of child pornography.

Logan City detective Kendall Olsen testified during the hearing that the screen shots, taken from the computer monitoring program, appeared to be child pornography, but since they weren’t actual pictures, they could not be verified. He also said, Baker admitted during an interview to viewing and printing various pictures. He would then take the printouts to a bathroom and flush them down the toilet.

Despite Baker’s early statements to police, the case has been drawn out for years in court. Defense attorney Greg Skabelund had argued that prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence, since they only had screen shots of the material that could not be substantiated.

The case has also been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic that limited in-person court hearings temporarily.

During Thursday’s court appearance, Baker waived his right to a fair trial and was scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1.

Baker was never booked into jail. He could be sentenced to up to five-years in prison.


will@cvradio.com

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