Seattle Times Employee Charged For Posting Child Porn Online From Times’ Offices

A Seattle Times employee previously accused of child molestation is facing charges for possession of child pornography after members of SPD’s Child Exploitation Squad traced a series of Flickr accounts containing photos of child pornography to the man’s computer at the Times’ offices.

According to charges filed last week in King County Superior Court against Richard Flores (aka Richard F Fortier), SPD received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on March 15th about possible child pornography posted to a Flickr account from an IP address registered to the Seattle Times.

On March 22nd, the King County Prosecutor’s office subpoenaed the Seattle Times, which turned three computers used by Flores—an accountant at the Times—over to investigators.

Police computer forensics experts found that two of the computers had been wiped clean by the Times’ tech department—one had apparently been infected with a virus—and did not find any child pornography stored on the Flores’s computers.

However, police did locate “tens of thousands of Flickr keywords” stored on the man’s computer, as well as indications that he had accessed several Flickr accounts which contained numerous “known and identified” child pornography photo sets uploaded between February and April of this year.

According to Detective Wilson’s affidavit, “It is believed that [Flores] accesses his Flickr account primarily while he is at work,” and  “uses external media devices to upload images to his Yahoo Flickr accounts from his work computer at the Seattle Times.”

Investigators also found Flores had exchanged emails with other people who had downloaded his photos of child porn, saying “My preference is 13-15 yr olds barely budding. But, as you can see, I appreciate all ages.”

Court records say in 1996, Flores—then known as Richard Fortier—was accused of molesting his 10 and 12-year-old step daughters. Flores plead to a lesser charge and, in 2005, changed his last name. Court records indicate he is no longer required to register as a sex offender.

Police also say Flores bragged in an email about molesting his former step daughters.

According to prosecutors, Flores is “a danger to children [and] a self-admitted child pornography addict. He has made inquries to others who share his interest in child pornography about their own children.” He is being held at the King County Jail on $500,000 bail.

We’ve emailed the Seattle Times for comment.