Former attorney appears on child porn accusations

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: December 31, 2012, 7:05 PM

 

A former Oregon attorney appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on accusations of possessing child pornography.

John P. Blount, 61, of Battle Ground faces charges at his Jan. 11 arraignment of five counts of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Judge John Wulle set bail at $20,000, about two-thirds of what the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommended. The judge denied a defense request for supervised release. Blount’s wife of 25 years, Cindy, who was present in court, posted bond within hours of the hearing.

Kirk Pressey, pretrial release officer, said an investigation continues, and Blount could face additional charges.

Wulle appointed attorney Brandy Jeffers to represent Blount. He doesn’t qualify for court-appointed counsel under income guidelines. However, judges may appoint a public defender if they believe there are factors that warrant it.

The former attorney and his wife live in a house valued at about $378,000, according to court records. The couple also earns combined income of about $2,000 per month.

Wulle said in an interview with The Columbian on Monday that he decided to appoint a public defender to Blount because he has no criminal history and isn’t acquainted with the court system. The judge said he also considered that Blount would serve prison time, if he’s convicted. Blount also is a long-standing member of the community, Wulle said. Jeffers noted in court that Blount has lived in the area for about 30 years.

Convicts are required to repay the state for the cost of a public defender. Not all, however, are able to.

Blount’s wife reported to Battle Ground police in July 2011 that she found child pornography on her home computer, prompting a police investigation, according to a probable cause affidavit. She told police that only she and her husband had access to the computer.

Blount has worked in the wine and beer supply business for about 10 years, according to Jeffers. But he was registered as an attorney on the Oregon State Bar from 1984 to 1991. He resigned in 1991 for unknown reasons. The OSB did not immediately respond Monday to a request by The Columbian for a copy of Blount’s resignation form. He was never a member of the Washington State Bar Association, according to a WSBA employee who conducted a search.