Trial begins for Frisco child pornography suspect
Almost a hundred prospective jurors lined the pews of the courtroom at the Summit County Justice Center on Monday morning to kick off the long-awaited trial of Kenneth Scott Casey.
Jury selection was originally anticipated to be completed sometime in the early afternoon, but the process slogged on for the entire day, primarily with individual interviews behind closed doors. Meanwhile dozens of other potential jurors passed the time quietly chatting or reading inside the courtroom, waiting for the juror pool to slowly narrow down to 14. A jury was finally selected at the end of the day, comprised of 11 women and three men.
Casey, 61, is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class-4 felony, after more than 2,000 pornographic images involving children were allegedly found on his computer in June 2015. He was living in Frisco at the time.
Casey’s ex-girlfriend discovered the images on his computer a few days after their breakup in 2015, according to Casey’s arrest affidavit. The two had been living together for about three months, and the woman told police that she stumbled onto the photos while trying to remove personal files and photos from Casey’s computer.
The woman contacted the Frisco Police Department on June 20, and provided them with both the computer and a flash drive containing some of the pornographic material, which she created herself as a backup. The woman noted that she had never seen any of the material before that day, and had no idea how long it had been on the computer.
On June 24, Paul Anderson, a forensic computer specialist from Homeland Security Investigations, executed a search warrant on the computer and thumb drive, uncovering more than 2,000 pornographic images containing children under the age of 18 years old. Anderson noted that he flagged hundreds of images along with a handful of videos as evidence.
At the time of the discovery, there was a protection order in place between Casey and his ex after Casey allegedly hurt her wrist during a previous altercation a couple of days before. In addition to the restraining order, Casey was charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault. The woman also claimed that Casey contacted her via email after the fact, violating his restraining order. He was charged with another Class-1 misdemeanor.
At a previous hearing, Casey’s former attorney Sommer Spector motioned to join the misdemeanors with the felony sexual exploitation case, saying that the woman’s combined testimony may show inconsistencies in her stories, though the motion was denied by Fifth Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson.
Spector also claimed the woman was “fabricating evidence against our client,” questioning the origin of the pornographic material on Casey’s computer, as well as the authenticity of the alleged emails Casey sent while part of the protection order.
Casey’s trial has been continued a number of times. In November 2017, Casey was granted a delay in the case after relieving his fourth court-appointed attorney, choosing instead to seek out a private attorney. If convicted, Casey faces two to four years in prison.
The trial will begin in earnest on Tuesday morning and is expected to continue through the end of the week. Judge Mark Thompson is presiding over the proceedings. Richard Banta is representing Casey for the defense, while Johnny Lombardi is representing the state for the prosecution.
Jack Queen and Elise Reuter contributed to the reporting of this story.
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