Report details child-porn investigation into former Mountain View police officer

SAN JOSE — Among his portfolio of suspect sketches stored on his personal laptop, former Mountain View police officer Kevin Nguyen, a prominent sketch artist for Bay Area law enforcement agencies, also kept more than a half-dozen child porn videos, including one portraying a girl between the ages of 4 and 6 engaged in explicit sex, according to a police report reviewed by this newspaper.

Nguyen, 37, of San Jose, was charged last fall with one count of felony child pornography possession and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors expected his attorney to file a motion questioning the search and seizure of his laptop, but at a court hearing Monday, the case was continued until March 9. Afterward, both Nguyen, who is free on his own recognizance, and San Jose-based attorney Sam Polverino declined comment on the case.

Nguyen, who resigned from the police department in July, was widely recognized and highly sought by other Bay Area law enforcement agencies for his immensely detailed, almost photo-realistic suspect sketches. Nguyen also volunteered in a youth mentoring group through the police activities league where he taught an art class to students.

An internal police investigation into Nguyen’s alleged conduct was launched concurrently with his criminal prosecution, but it was terminated once he left the force.

A recently obtained police report details how Nguyen’s suspected crimes were uncovered in a child porn sweep by the San Jose Police Department’s child exploitation detail.

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On May 6, San Jose police detective Sean Pierce was tracking IP addresses captured by law enforcement software downloading known images of child pornography. After discovering the download of a video involving a prepubescent girl, Pierce two days later served a search warrant to Comcast Cable, the Internet provider. The IP address came back to Nguyen’s San Jose address, according to the police report.

The Mountain View officer lived in a detached garage at the residence and investigators served a search warrant May 13, finding child porn involving a girl aged 7 to 9 on his personal laptop, Pierce wrote in his report. In a file on the same laptop, investigators also found Nguyen’s suspect sketches.

Pierce met with Nguyen at the Mountain View police station and read him his Miranda rights, at which time Nguyen asked for an attorney. Nguyen was arrested and placed in the front seat of an unmarked patrol car, according to the report.

“He looked at me and said, ‘how do you feel?’ ” Pierce wrote in his report. “I told him that I didn’t want him to be in this situation as much as he didn’t. He then asked me if I would tell his Sgt. and Chief that he was sorry.”

While driving to the jail, Nguyen asked Pierce if he worked with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force and “what happens to guys in his position.” A San Jose police sergeant in the car told Nguyen, if convicted, most defendants get three to six months’ jail time with three years probation, along with the requirement to register as a sex offender. Nguyen asked if he could get rid of the registration requirements over time, according to the report.

Pierce noted in the report, during those initial hours, Nguyen was never told what he was being arrested for.

Shortly after his arrest, former Mountain View police Chief Scott Vermeer posted on Facebook an open letter to the community regarding the arrest of Nguyen.

“We like to take an approach both internally and with the public of honesty and transparency,” Vermeer said in an interview shortly before he left the department to take a private security job. “We’re incredibly disappointed and saddened by these types of allegations. Any arrest of a police officer is extremely troubling. When the allegation is of this nature, it’s even more exaggerated in how troubling it is.”

source: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_27397511/report-details-child-porn-investigation-into-former-mountain