Formal charge in child pornography case


By Randi Pierce

Staff Writer

John Vick, the Pagosa man arrested Oct. 22 for possession of child pornography, was formally charged Nov. 1 in Archuleta County Court.

Vick, 48, was charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a class-six felony.

Also at the hearing, Vick’s bond was reduced from $250,000 (the bond schedule amount for sex crimes) to $3,000 cash surety (the scheduled amount for a class-six felony).

Along with the reduction, Vick is not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18, and is not allowed to use a computer or have access to the Internet on any other device.

In requesting the bond reduction, Vick’s attorney, John Baxter, called the $250,000 bond, “incredibly high” due to Vick’s living in the community for eight years, a lack of alcohol and drug concerns, and the fact that the investigation has been ongoing for more than a year.

Baxter noted, however, that he had no objections to putting conditions in place with the charge being a sex crime.

Deputy District Attorney Alex Lowe requested the conditions of no contact with minors (a condition set in place at Vick’s first advisement hearing the previous week) and no computer access.

Judge Jim Denvir questioned the feasibility of the proposed condition regarding computers — asking Lowe if, in his opinion, Vick could use a computer with no Internet access, or how his access to computers and Internet could be controlled (for example, could Vick enter a coffee shop with free Internet?).

Lowe indicated that he did not know the answer to Denvir’s question, and that he was unsure what would provide temptation to Vick.

Vick’s wife informed the court that there was no Internet access at the couple’s home, and Vick’s smartphone had been confiscated.

It was determined that Vick’s wife could continue to access computers (she suggested that she could remove the computer from the home while she is at work), with Lowe stating that the court had no jurisdiction over Vick’s wife.

Baxter also asked the court to advise him and Vick about the order banning contact with individuals under 18.

Denvir indicated there were no pre-set rules for the condition that he was aware of and that incidental contact with a minor could not be prevented.

Lowe indicated that he did not want to argue if any possible future contact was incidental or not, but stated his opinion that walking by a minor would be fine, but making verbal or physical contact with that minor would constitute a violation of the condition.

Denvir then informed the court of the bond conditions and told Vick that any violations would result in a mandatory one-year sentence in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

A preliminary hearing on the case has been set for 8:15 a.m. on Nov. 20, before District Court Judge Gregory Lyman.

The Affidavit for Arrest Warrant in the case notes that Vick previously served as the fatherhood advocate for the Archuleta County Department of Human Services and was fired in April 2011 for violating department policy due to pornography found on his work computer.

According to the affidavit, further investigation revealed pornographic websites in the history of Vick’s work computer, as well as photos reportedly containing child pornography.

The investigation is continuing.