Ex-Newsday Publisher Pleads Guilty in Child-Porn Case

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Robert Johnson, a former publisher of Newsday, has admitted in court that he downloaded child pornography from a Web site and then attempted to cover up the action by trying to delete the pictures, reports Newsday. Johnson, 60, who was also a member of the New York State Board of Regents, which overseas the state’s education system, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges of possession of child pornography and destruction of evidence in connection with a federal investigation.

The former publisher was caught up in a sting operation in 2004 run by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement a decade after he had left Newsday and had become president of Bowne & Co., a printing firm. Johnson had served on the state’s Board of Regents from 1995 until he left in 2004, at which time he also left Bowne. The departures came as the investigation was focusing on his use of his computers. When Johnson learned that the agents were investigating the use of his desktop and laptop computers at Bowne, he attempted to use a program known as Evidence Eliminator to purge files from his computers. Johnson faces up to 10 years in prison on the child pornography charge and up to 20 years in prison on the destruction of evidence charge when he is sentenced on Oct. 27.

Link: http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzplea0805,0,635566.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

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