Kennewick man gets six months for voyeurism, possessing explicit materials

Tri-City HeraldAugust 22, 2013 

— A Kennewick man who claimed he installed a camera in his home's bathroom for security reasons was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail for uploading nude photos of a young girl to his computer.

Dan R. Dickey, 66, didn't have anything to tell the judge other than, "You will never see me again."

In an interview with a community corrections officer in preparation for sentencing, it was noted that Dickey "appears to grasp the seriousness of this offense and expressed remorse toward the victim and her family."

Dickey pleaded guilty in June in Benton County Superior Court to voyeurism and second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

On Thursday, the prosecutor and defense attorney said it had been a negotiated plea and recommended a sentence under the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative.

Judge Vic VanderSchoor granted that request, ordering Dickey to serve the jail time with a suspended prison term of one year and five months. The sentence includes sex offender treatment and three years of community supervision, and Dickey can get more time behind bars if he violates any conditions.

VanderSchoor also said Dickey can serve his time on work release if the jail finds he is eligible for the program, which allows an inmate to leave during the day to go to his or her job.

Dickey was president of the Kennewick Police Department Foundation when the allegations surfaced late last year. He resigned from the nonprofit organization.

Dickey also had been a real estate agent for 20 years. He told the community corrections officer earlier this month for his presentencing report that he retired from the Kennewick agency after the charges were filed and he is living off Social Security.

It was not clear Thursday if Dickey has a new job. His lawyer, John Jensen, asked the court for work release so Dickey can "continue to work" and pay for the treatment requirement.

Dickey must report to the Benton County jail by Sept. 11.

Kennewick police received a tip last November that Dickey might have child pornography on his computer, and handed the case over to sheriff's detectives because of a potential conflict with Dickey's participation in the department's fund-raising group.

Dickey cooperated during the investigation, telling detectives he installed the camera in a bathroom and it recorded images of the young girl as she dressed, along with other girls.

Dickey claimed the camera had been in place for six years and was installed for security purposes, but acknowledged he filmed in a place that people would have expectations of privacy.

A safe reportedly was located in the bathroom, and the pinhole camera with a motion sensor was hidden in a box.

A forensic examination of two computers and additional data storage devices taken from Dickey's home turned up 2,335 images of nude children younger than 18, court documents said. There were 1,827 pictures of one girl on three different devices, along with 319 video files showing her showering or dressing.

Those pictures appear to have been collected in late 2010, but there were images from the camera starting in March 2009 through July 2012, documents said.

Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor has said that Dickey used the photos "for the purpose of sexual stimulation."

In his presentencing report, when asked about complying with supervision, Dickey said, "I just want to do what it takes to make things right and I don't want to have to come back to jail."

He also said he felt very ashamed being labeled as a sex offender.

The victim's father wrote a letter that was included with the report.

He asked for the maximum sentence, saying his daughter has been in counseling and "has very hard feelings regarding the case."

The girl "has very little to no trust" for any males and has nightmares of seeing Dickey or being chased by him, the father wrote. She still suffers from emotional and mental stress, which may last a lifetime, and has "a major fear" of showering and changing, he said.

The girl and her father are not named under a Herald policy not to identify people who report being sexually assaulted.

Dickey has no prior criminal convictions and "other than this incident has been a contributing member of the community," Jensen said about his client.

Dickey must register as a sex offender with the convictions.

VanderSchoor warned him to comply with that requirement "otherwise you'll be in trouble."

The case will come up for review in one year, followed by a termination hearing in November 2016.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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