Sentencing on child porn charges delayed for SF political consultant

SAN FRANCISCO -- The sentencing of a San Francisco political consultant and attorney who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography last month was delayed today after he was deemed unsuitable for home detention by the sheriff's department.

Enrique Pearce pleaded guilty on Dec. 23 to two counts of distributing child pornography, one count of buying or receiving stolen property and one count of possession or control of child pornography with allegations of possessing more than 600 images of someone under 18 and possessing matter that portrayed sexual sadism or sexual masochism involving someone under 18, according to court documents.

Pearce had originally been charged with six felonies.

In return for his plea, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Rene Navarro agreed to sentence him to only to six months of county jail, which can be served in home detention, and five years of probation.

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The deal was agreed to over the objections of prosecutors, who were seeking prison time.

However, the sheriff's department was not willing to approve Pearce for its electronic monitoring program, and defense attorneys are now seeking an alternative program that can provide the monitoring.

"Obviously we agree with the sheriff's department," district attorney's office spokesman Max Szabo said today. "We thought that prison time was a more appropriate sentence."

Pearce was arrested on May 7, 2015, after police served a search warrant at his Tenderloin apartment, located near McAllister and Leavenworth streets.

Police first began investigating Pearce in February 2015 after a man who had chatted with him online said that he had sent him images of child pornography.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives found 4,902 images and videos of child pornography on two of Pearce's silver Apple laptops, including graphic images showing sexual abuse of infants as young as six months old.

Additionally, 115 images were also recovered from Pearce's cellphone, which showed 11 clothed boys between 8 and 12 years old, who appeared to not know they were being photographed.

During the search warrant operation, officers also recovered a stolen parking meter at Pearce's home.

The recovered parking meter, which was valued to be worth about $950, resulted in the buying or receiving stolen property charge, according to court documents.

Pearce worked as a consultant at Left Coast Communications. He is credited with having worked on political campaigns for U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, as well as San Francisco supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee, among others.

Pearce also established Pearce Law Offices.

Defense attorneys declined to comment today. Pearce is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on March 10.
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