Lamphier pleads no contest to “obscene material” charge

“Former Nevada County Supervisor Terry Lamphier today plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of viewing adult material on a government-owned computer. He was sentenced to one year of probation and assorted fees and fines,” as YubaNet is reporting.

“His attorney, Stephen Munkelt, said ‘We were glad to get the child pornography charges dismissed. Our forensic expert’s report clearly showed that Mr. Lamphier never knowingly entered search terms that any reasonable person could expect to return pornographic content.’

“Nevada County initiated an investigation after an anonymous letter was left on the counter of the Board of Supervisors office. The content of the letter was such that the Sheriff’s Office requested and obtained a search warrant for Lamphier’s residence and his vehicle. The letter was later revealed to have been authored by Steve Enos, a former supporter turned opponent.

“On December 29, 2014, the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office filed a three count misdemeanor complaint against outgoing County Supervisor and incoming Grass Valley Councilmember Terry Lamphier for possession of child pornography. The charges filed alleged that on three different dates Lamphier used his county computer to access and/or possess child pornography images. The dates listed on the complaint are September 30, October 13 and October 16, 2014.

“According to the expert forensic report, commissioned by Munkelt, ‘My review of discovery and forensic review of Mr. Lamphier’s work computer showed that every image of an erotic or pornographic nature was the result of caching by the computer’s operating system and there was no evidence whatsoever that Mr. Lamphier had purposefully saved anything he had encountered in these browsing sessions.’

“The trial was postponed several times and was set to begin on May 24, 2016. Lamphier faced up to one year in prison per charge and a mandatory registration on the sex offenders list. The plea deal does not contain any registration or subjects Lamphier to unannounced searches during his one year probation.

“Munkelt stated the outcome was a reasonable resolution of the case.”

YubaNet’s full article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

16 thoughts on “Lamphier pleads no contest to “obscene material” charge”

  1. Here’s a cogent quote from The Union that rings true in this case:
    ““It’s unfortunate that law enforcement chose to publicize this case long before their investigation was complete,” Munkelt added.”
    And from YubaNet:
    “I strongly believe that criminal cases should be tried in court, not in newspapers, on television and in public opinion.” Munkeldt has some other interesting observations as well:
    It’s too bad Jim Hemig isn’t around to answer these questions on The Union’s behalf.

  2. In the process of browsing for any kind of information, it is entirely possible to double click on something when it does not seem to be loading, and in doing so, accidentally activate a button on a screen that leads to someplace you had not intended to go. It is also possible for such a click to lead on through to a download of a program that then attempts to stock your computer with links and images you never desired to get. Based on everything I’ve noticed about this case, this seems the most likely explanation for what happened in this case. Like all firewalls, I believe the County’s is and was not infallible. For those who use Macs, this is not so likely to happen, as Macs I don’t think use double clicks in the way PC’s do.

  3. Yes Agree! The county monitors all computer activity and it was always REALLY Strange to me that someone like Enos, a outsider to the system had access to the County Computer systems and had to anonymously notify the County CEO of what was going on in ” His” Monitored County Computer systems! In my contacts with Terry, He was the only Supervisor that tried to act independently, ask questions and to make a fair and reasoned determination. Sorry that the “PTB’s felt it was necessary to attack and damage Terry cuz He was a “Freeman”.

  4. Check out the comments behind The Union posting of its Lamphier article on Facebook, then ask yourself whether you’d trust a Nevada County jury to judge your innocence. Depressing.

    1. Whoops, sorry. It was actually Ivan Natividad’s posting of the Union article in FB that elicited a lot of vitriolic comments (assuming Lamphier’s guilt).


      “Yet another child predator getting the easy way out… the DA’s a real friend of pedophiles”

      “Nobody who was innocent would take this plea agreement to such a heinous charge if the evidence against him regarding these charges did not have any merit. Many of his supporters cried frame job (politically motivated). I would love to hear their reasoning now. I still can’t believe anyone voted for him, less yet enough people to elect him.”

      “Sad thing is he probably got away with it . . Pediphiles don’t change .
      I hope he never hurts the innocence. . I hope he stays behind his doors .!!!”

      “What burns me is someone knew . Still let him run and then blew it up .
      Nevada county is beautiful . .awesome.
      Don’t let this judge our community.
      He should move . . ”

      If it had gone to a jury, the defense would probably have asked for a change of venue.

      1. Yes indeed. The same vigilantes who were attacking Lamphier before he was granted due process are spreading lies about Heidi Hall. Among them: she wants to put meters on wells (which she denied) and she believes in contrails (which she also has denied).

        Our towns still have a real diversity hangup!

  5. Although it will never happen, I’d like to see Keith Royal, Steve Enos and all the other people who tried to jail Terry as a pedophile have their lives disrupted and destroyed in such a pernicious manner. Royal should be recalled, Enos should be tar and feathered, and their supporting cast need to be kicked out of their respective churches. And I hope Terry pursues a civil case against them. A**holes all of them!

  6. The sock puppets on Todd’s blog are expressing sour grapes over the outcome of the Lamphier case. As if leaking information to The Union everyday, writing nasty letters, and staging vigilante protests in front of City Hall was going to somehow change the outcome. LOL!

  7. First Lamphier and now supervisor candidate Richard Harris is dodging “whispering campaign” mud balls. How low will they go to gain and maintain power?

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