Mid faces trial on porn charges

The Baltimore Sun

A Naval Academy midshipman accused of possessing and distributing child pornography will face a court-martial, the military college said yesterday.

Midshipman First Class Michael S. Pollard, 22, of Apopka, Fla., is accused of possessing and distributing between July 2003 and August 2007 hundreds of images and videos of children having sex, according to Navy prosecutors.

An Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a grand jury proceeding, was held this month at the Washington Navy Yard.

During testimony, a senior who shared a dormitory room with Pollard said that he found images of "adolescent-looking" boys on Pollard's computer.

Pollard is accused of storing the pornography on a computer and an external hard drive in his Bancroft Hall dorm and on a laptop that investigators found at his family's home in Florida, a Navy prosecutor said. He is also accused of attempting to obstruct a criminal investigation by deleting some of the pornography, the prosecutor said.

Pollard's defense attorney, Larry N. Burch, said during the hearing that Navy investigators did not have a written order to confiscate Pollard's computer. Burch said there was no evidence that Pollard attempted to distribute child pornography.

Burch declined to comment for this article.

Notice of the court-martial is among the most recent sexual assault and misconduct cases at the academy. On Monday, an Article 32 hearing was held for a midshipman accused of raping a classmate in a dorm.

A date for Pollard's court-martial has not been set.

kelly.brewington @baltsun.com

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