Crime

Kennewick man preyed on neighborhood kids. Then he made child pornography

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A 63-year-old Kennewick man will spend the next three decades in prison for making sexually explicit videos of three kids and teens.

But the long prison term ordered this week in Richland’s federal court doesn’t bring an end to Dale G. Black’s legal woes.

Black still has an open case in state court for allegedly molesting and raping two boys, with the sexual abuse of one lasting at least seven years.

He has a hearing in three weeks to address that case, and is expected to plead guilty as part of a so-called global resolution.

Black reportedly has had significant time to reflect on his actions and criminal conduct, and is “deeply remorseful” and affected by the pain, suffering and humiliation he caused the victims, their families and his own family, said his attorney, Scott Johnson.

Video showed boy through years

The child pornography first came to light in July 2017 when undercover agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation downloaded a partial video that was traced through the internet address to Black’s Canyon Lakes address.

That video showed one preteen boy through several years of his life engaged in various sex acts, including with different females, according to court documents.

Unbeknownst to federal investigators at the time, Black already had been arrested and charged in Benton County Superior Court with rape of a child and child molestation.

FBI agents soon discovered that case and served a search warrant at Black’s home the following month. They seized multiple electronic devices like computers, memory cards, a hard drive and a phone, documents said.

A forensic examiner uncovered 664 child pornography images and seven videos on the devices. Some were known child pornography images that have been on the web for years, and others were of three local children who were photographed and videotaped personally by Black, court documents said.

Met 1 child through mentoring program

Black met the children in his neighborhood and through his work at that time with Ignite Youth Mentoring, a faith-based nonprofit that provided mentoring relationships for at-risk youths.

He produced the child pornography both at his house and on overnight trips that he took alone with the children to Oregon, which is why he was forced to forfeit his 2015 Subaru Legacy as part of the case, documents said.

Black was indicted in June 2018 with three counts of production of child pornography and one count each of transportation of minors for illegal sexual activity, and receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography.

He pleaded guilty last December in U.S. District Court to the three production counts.

On Tuesday, Senior Judge Ed Shea ordered Black to serve 30 years on each count, to be served all at once. He dismissed the remaining counts.

Shea also told Black he will be on court supervision for the rest of his life once he’s released from prison, and must pay $305,000 in fines, which includes $5,000 under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

‘Stern warning to offenders’

“Prosecuting those who would produce pornographic images of vulnerable minors is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington,” Joseph H. Harrington said in a news release, referring to his own office. “The sentence imposed in this case serves as a stern warning to offenders that you will be held accountable for your actions.”

Harrington commended the work of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who worked on the case.

The court has recommended that the Federal Bureau of Prisons place Black in a low-security facility near Dallas, Texas.

Under the agreement between federal and state prosecutors, Black is supposed to plead guilty in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation and third-degree child molestation.

Prosecutors in that case will recommend he receive up to 35 years to run concurrent with the federal sentence.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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