Glenrock Man Denies Charges of Possessing Child Pornography
A Glenrock man accused of possessing child pornography entered not guilty pleas Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
James Simpson, Jr., 64, pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a child by possession of sexually exploitive material before District Judge Daniel Forgey. Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
According to an affidavit filed by a special agent of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the case began March 5 when a person called police and reported that they had found a USB drive that contained child pornography.
The caller said that he had been at Wyoming Medical Center on March 2 visiting a family member. As he went to leave, he found a USB drive on the ground in the parking garage. The person picked up the USB drive with the intention of returning it to its owner.
After forgetting about the USB drive over the weekend, the person who found it plugged it into his computer on Monday, March 5, to see if he could find something on it that might help identify the owner. Instead, he saw multiple files containing child pornography, and called police.
Special agents found that the USB drive contained 129 image files and five videos of suspected child pornography. At least 11 of the files contained victims who had previously been identified through law enforcement investigations.
In reviewing the deleted files on the flash drive, agents found high school senior photographs which contained embedded data. That data showed the photos had been taken by a photographer in Converse County.
A social media search led agents to a website for the photographer. One album on the website contained the same high school senior photos that had been recovered from the USB drive.
By interviewing the person depicted in the senior photos, agents learned that the likely suspect was Simpson, who had been at Wyoming Medical Center with his wife on March 2.
When confronted by agents at his home, Simpson initially denied possessing the USB drive or any child pornography, but he later admitted that the USB drive belonged to him.
"It's stuff that over years that I have collected because I thought they were cute and it's nothing that leaves the house, I am not a predator, I am never anywhere," Simpson allegedly told the agents. He said the USB drive was "years old."
Simpson reportedly told agents that he never thought law enforcement would contact him regarding the files, and compared possessing child pornography to possessing a "dirty magazine," according to the affidavit. He told agents that he would seek out children between 12 and 15 years of age.
"If it would have never dropped out of my pocket. That is so stupid why I even take it with me in the first place?" Simpson said after allowing agents to take his laptop.
Simpson remains free on bond pending trial, which is set to be scheduled at a later date.
A booking photo of Simpson was not immediately available from authorities.