Local News

Wednesday, Feb 17 2010 05:57 PM

Former BPD detective ordered held in jail

BY STEVE E. SWENSON, Californian staff writer sswenson@bakersfield.com

A former Bakersfield police detective arrested on a complaint of possessing child pornography was ordered Wednesday to be held in the Fresno County Jail based on a federal magistrate's findings he poses a flight risk and a public danger, a prosecutor said.

Christopher Kent Bowersox, 38, a seven-year veteran of the department until he resigned Feb. 10, was arrested Feb. 12 after an FBI investigation led to a complaint that he possessed child pornography and engaged in the receipt of child pornography, police reported. The charges are punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, and fines up to $250,000.

He was represented in U.S. District Court by Bakersfield attorney David A. Torres, who said Bowersox had no property to post on his own behalf, which means he had nothing to secure his appearance at future court hearings. Torres declined further comment.

Bowersox is likely to be indicted sometime next week and then be arraigned Feb. 26 on whatever charges are filed against him by the federal grand jury, according to Torres and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa.

Gappa said Magistrate Sandra Snyder ordered Bowersox to be held in jail.

An investigation of Bowersox began in November when an organization in Florida that scours the Internet for people involved in child pornography alerted Bakersfield police to Bowersox's alleged behavior.

Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson, saying he was "thoroughly embarrassed and disappointed" by the case, said the investigation was turned over to the FBI and resulted in a federal complaint.

None of the alleged criminal activity is tied to Bowersox's work as a police officer where he had been on patrol, a anti-graffiti program and investigating property and white-collar crime, Williamson said.

But Bowersox's case is tied to a child pornography arrest of Nicholas William Beeman, about 24 years old, in Florida, the criminal complaint says. Beeman told police he was depressed over Internet contact he had with someone who discussed raping, injuring and murder of children, the complaint says.

A computer forensic review of Beeman's computer was traced to Bowersox, who admitted the conversations but said they were just fantasies that he never acted upon, the complaint says.

Police also found sexual images of young boys, girls and infants, including some with adults having sex with the children, on Bowersox's computer, the complaint says.

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