Man charged with child porn previously saw videos

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SEATTLE (AP) — Pierce County authorities are upset that that a former pilot who’s already admitted molesting young boys is being allowed to watch videos he made of the abuse while he sits in jail awaiting trial, but this isn’t the first time he’s been allowed to review the materials while in custody.

Weldon Marc Gilbert pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal charges including sexual exploitation in exchange for a 25-year sentence. He still faces state charges in Pierce County.

John Henry Browne represented Gilbert in his federal case, and said he and his client did watch the videos. The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle confirmed that and said Thursday it was Gilbert’s right to review the items to prepare for trial, though typically federal child pornography defendants are not given the opportunity to review such materials.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that under state law, child porn defendants and their lawyers must be given copies of the pornography if they request it in preparing for trial. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says he hopes attention to Gilbert’s case will help get that law changed.