56-year old William Frakes of Vandalia has been found guilty by a jury on all three counts of possession of child pornography depicting a victim under the age of 13 of which he was charged. Following the state resting its case on Tuesday afternoon, the defense had their opportunity to call or recall witnesses and present further evidence as part of its case. The defense announced on Wednesday morning that it would instead rest its case. Closing arguments were then held with State’s Attorney Josh Morrison arguing that the state had met its burden of proof and asked for the jury to return a guilty verdict. During the defense’s closing statements, defense attorney Robert Bas argued that Frakes did not have knowledge that the pictures were on the Samsung phone taken by Vandalia Police during a search warrant despite the state arguing that to have the pictures on the phone and uploaded to a Flickr account associated to two emails of Frakes was not an accident and took affirmative action by Frakes to do both. Following jury instructions given by Judge Parker, the jury took just less than an hour to return a verdict of guilty on each count. Following the announcement of the verdict, State’s Attorney Morrison thanked law enforcement and experts who helped to work on the case.
Frakes was found guilty of two counts of possession of child pornography of a sadistic nature depicting a victim reasonable known to be under the age of 13 which are Class X felonies and punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The third count Frakes was found guilty of is possession of child pornography depicting a victim reasonably known to be under the age of 13 which is a Class 2 felony. Frakes will now appear in Fayette County Court on April 13th at 1 pm for sentencing.
Story courtesy of Todd Stapleton of Vandalia Radio.