SF gay rights activist arrested for child porn

June 26, 2012 8:16:42 PM PDT
A San Francisco gay rights activist could face child pornography charges. Sixty-six-year-old Larry Brinkin served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission until his retirement two years ago. He was arrested Friday and booked on felony possession of child pornography, but prosecutors chose not to file charges against him at this time, saying they are not done analyzing the evidence from his computers.

Police searched Brinkin's home on Waller Street and seized videos, two laptops, a desktop computer, a disc and thumb drives.

The search warrant gives a detailed chronology of the investigation. It says that in January, Los Angeles police began an investigation after receiving cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. AOL had reported that a user with the email address zack3737@aol.com had been communicating with another user with a Yahoo address. Two email attachments showed children as young as 2 and 3 years old being sexually assaulted and performing various sex acts on adult men.

In May, Los Angeles police turned the case over to San Francisco police after learning that the suspect with the user name zack3737 was Larry Brinkin of San Francisco. San Francisco investigators then found that Brinkin belonged to several Yahoo discussion groups that exchanged stories about sexually exploiting young boys and girls.

Brinkin retired two years ago after serving 22 years as a contract compliance officer for the city's Human Rights Commission. He was known as a hardworking senior staffer who headed many high profile civil rights investigations, but he was best known for his pioneering work for equal rights for gays and lesbians. He helped write San Francisco's groundbreaking Equal Benefits Ordinance, which became a model for equality in the workplace.

ABC7 News profiled Brinken 12 years ago when he was receiving counseling and medical treatment to deal with the stress of his work at the Human Rights Commission. He had just gone through double bypass surgery and was learning to cope with the demands in his job.

When prosecutors finish reviewing the computer evidence, they'll decide whether to charge him. In the meantime, Brinkin is a free man.

Brinkin did not return ABC7 News' calls. His attorney Randy Knox says he will not comment while the investigation is ongoing.


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