Retired Navy officer accused of possession of child porn

July 14, 2011 3:33:50 PM PDT
A retired Navy officer from Houston is accused of possession of child pornography.

Dieter David Palmer, a retired Navy chief petty officer, has been indicted on charges of distribution, receipt, attempted receipt, transportation and possession of child pornography, the United States Attorney's Office said.

Palmer, 42, was arrested on July 12 following the return of a five-count indictment on June 22. A judge imposed a number of special conditions including prohibiting him from personal use of an electronic device which could access the Internet and from contact with children. He will also be subject to GPS monitoring and cannot travel outside of Harris County among other things.

Palmer has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and is set for trial before U.S. District Judge Ellison on Aug. 29.

He is alleged to have subscribed and purchased membership to websites offering child pornography, and distributed and received images of child pornography utilizing his e-mail accounts. Two computers at his residence were found to contain more than 1,800 digital images and at least 36 videos of child pornography including images depicting children in bondage.

At the time of the investigation and when contacted by law enforcement, Palmer held a security clearance due to his employment with a Navy contractor.

Palmer faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment if convicted of the distribution, receipt, attempted receipt or transportation of child pornography charges and a maximum fine of $250,000. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum punishment of up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 upon conviction.

Each offense also carries a maximum of a life term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children. Additionally, if convicted, registration as a sex offender is mandatory.

Palmer was ordered released Thursday on a $50,000 bond following the hearing.

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