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California deputy attorney general charged with possession of child porn

A California deputy attorney general has been charged in San Diego federal court with possessing child pornography at his Coronado home.

Raymond Joseph Liddy, 53, was arrested Tuesday and has pleaded not guilty. He was granted release in lieu of $100,000 bond during an arraignment the same day and placed on home detention with GPS monitoring.

The attorney general’s office said in a statement Wednesday that it was “aware of the matter” and that Liddy has been placed on administrative leave.

The investigation began after an electronic service provider sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in January that a user had uploaded an image that appeared to be child porn, according to the complaint. About a month later, another service provider sent a similar tip to the organization reporting that a user had uploaded 10 such images via a messaging program.

The tips were then forwarded to the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which traced the activity to a home in Coronado. Investigators dug deeper into the user’s emails and chat logs and found the person portrayed himself as a 48-year-old married man with children, although his user profile also indicated he was 52, the complaint says.

When two FBI agents and a task force officer interviewed Liddy at his home on Tuesday, he admitted to using Internet services by the first provider and the screen name associated with the second provider, as well as other linked email addresses, according to the complaint.

He said he used the screen name and other aliases to share sexual fantasies online, saying he often downloaded sexual images but deleted them shortly after, the complaint states. He said he might have forwarded some of the images before deleting them, the document says.

He further explained that most of the images were of adults, but that it is possible some may have been of children, the complaint states.

Investigators then served a search warrant on his home and found numerous photographs on a computer and thumbdrive of minors engaged in sexual conduct, the complaint states. One image was of a nude girl blindfolded with her hands bound together, the document says.

According to his LinkedIn page, Liddy has been a state prosecutor since 2008. He received his law degree from Fordham University School of Law and his master of strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.

A 2010 Top Attorneys online profile on San Diego Source said Liddy was a reserve Marine colonel.

His focus as a prosecutor has been on healthcare, including cases about drug pricing, Medi-Cal fraud, elder abuse, kickbacks and off-label drug marketing, according to the profile and other court records.

Davis writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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