Former Referee In Court on Child Porn Charges

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

May 1, 2005

Richard Lakes, the former high school referee who was charged with 10 counts of child pornography back in October, went before a judge today.

One investigating officer testified Lakes told him he thought it was okay to have the pictures as long as he didn't contact anyone. Albemarle County Police seized about 1,500 pornographic pictures from two of his home computers back in October. Half of the photos contained naked girls under age 18; about 70 of them were under 13. Police testified Lakes had been posing online as a 23-year-old girl named Lisa.

He told police he emailed pictures of "Lisa" to various people in exchange for their pornographic pictures. The photos surfaced through an investigation by the police department's Internet crimes task force.

Previously, 61-year-old Lakes worked 35 years as a local high school referee at many of the basketball games. He's also a licensed pharmacist.

On Monday, the judge certified all 10 counts of child pornography. A Grand Jury will decide on June 5 if the case will go to trial.

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