Blair pleads innocent to 16 more counts - Quad-Cities Online: Regional

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Blair pleads innocent to 16 more counts

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Posted: Friday, August 7, 1998 1:00 am

Additional charges of child pornography have been filed in Whiteside County Circuit Court against a 43-year-old Erie man.

During a formal arraignment hearing Wednesday, Gary Lee Blair pleaded innocent to 16 counts of Class 3 felony child pornography and requested a jury trial. He also faces four additional counts of Class 1 felony child pornography, to which he has pleaded innocent.

He remained in the Whiteside County Jail Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court Aug. 26 for a pretrial conference.

Mr. Blair -- a convicted child pornographer -- was arrested by the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department July 14 for disorderly conduct after he allegedly was seen taking photographs of children at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley.

Whiteside County authorities charged him after retrieving a computer taken by Rock Island County deputies during a July 14 search of Mr. Blair's home.

According to a sheriff's department spokesman, investigators were able to retrieve several digital images from the computer's hard drive depicting young children engaging in sexual acts with other children and adults, masturbation,

bondage, and lewd depictions of a child's genitals.

In October 1989, Mr. Blair was arrested for disorderly conduct after parents reported a stranger in a van taking photographs outside Roosevelt Elementary School in Moline. The following month, police executed a search warrant of his home and found almost 10,000 photographs and 200 video tapes, leading to Mr. Blair being charged with 22 counts of child pornography and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim younger than 13.

He was sentenced in June 1990 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of child pornography. He was released from prison in 1991.

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