A Benton City man appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Yakima on charges he downloaded child pornography at a Richland music store.
William “Bill” Robert Simpkin, a guitar instructor in Richland, is charged with downloading the pornographic images on an account registered to Music Unlimited on Jadwin Avenue in Richland.
Simpkin was not an employee of the store, but he did give guitar lessons for more than decade at the business, said Dick Ward, owner of Music Unlimited. Simpkin used his personal computer and store WiFi during the lessons.
FBI special agents searched the store on Thursday and arrested Simpkin, who worked there, said court documents.
He allegedly indicated to investigators “he was the one who had been downloading child pornography on the internet ...,” said court documents.
The allegations are based on an investigation by a Dallas task force officer who was tracing the sharing of child pornography files on a file-sharing network. Investigators claim 1,150 files were downloaded to Music Unlimited’s account.
Some of the files depicted images of toddlers performing sex acts with adult men. A preview of Simpkin’s laptop “revealed child pornography videos,” said court documents.
Simpkin is being held in the federal detention center. A bail hearing is set for May 27.
Simpkin’s Facebook page says he owns Two of Clubs Plus One, which performs vaudeville-style shows, including juggling, fire eating, unicycle riding, comedy, puppetry and music for parties and events.