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Ventura County

Ex-Diving Coach Gets 1 Year in Jail in Child Porn Case

March 26, 2003|Tracy Wilson | Times Staff Writer

A former Thousand Oaks diving coach caught in a federal sting against online obscenity has been ordered to serve a year in county jail after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

William Douglas, 45, entered the felony plea of possession with the intent to distribute and three misdemeanor counts of possession.

During the investigation, authorities searched Douglas' home, computer and van. They found hundreds of suggestive photos and videos, many depicting naked children engaged in sexual activity, authorities said.

Investigators also found videotapes of male swimmers whom Douglas coached, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Howard Wise.

Although none of the evidence seized suggested that Douglas had sexually assaulted children involved with Dive T.O., a private diving club, Wise said the home videos were exploitative.

In addition to jail time, Superior Court Judge Bruce A. Clark placed Douglas on five years probation, the terms of which require the former coach to register as a sex offender and obtain counseling. Douglas is permitted to use the Internet for work purposes only.

"It was a case that our office took very seriously," Wise said. "And we will continue to be monitoring Internet activity and working with state and federal officials to do everything we can to make sure the children of this county are not exploited."

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