Crime

Judge sets $5,000 bail for state community corrections officer accused of possessing child pornography

A Thurston County judge set bail at $5,000 for Michael C. Boone, an Olympia man accused of possessing child pornography.

The 37-year-old man, who works as a community corrections officer for the State Department of Corrections, appeared before Judge James Dixon on Wednesday afternoon. The judge found probable cause for three counts of second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act.

According to the Corrections Department, Boone was hired in 2003 and works with adult offenders. He was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.

Boone also works as a reserve officer for the Tenino Police Department. Mayor Bret Brodersen said Boone has been placed on administrative leave there as well and that he won’t have access to Police Department facilities.

The State Patrol arrested Boone on Tuesday following an investigation that began in December. Microsoft notified law enforcement when employees discovered that Boone uploaded child pornography to his cloud account, according to court documents.

Detectives later confirmed that three of the images were child pornography that is well-known to law enforcement. The images were uploaded from an IP address belonging to Boone’s wife.

They served a search warrant at Boone’s home and found his laptop. The computer contained the same three explicit images that had been uploaded to Boone’s cloud account, according to court documents.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Jim Powers said that Boone has no criminal history, but because of the seriousness of the alleged crime, bail was still warranted. He also requested that Boone have no in-person contact with minors and that he have no access to the Internet.

Office of Assigned Counsel Attorney Sara Hixson, who represented Boone at the hearing, argued that those conditions were too harsh. She said that there was no indication that Boone had ever harmed his children, nor was there an indication that he would fail to appear in court.

“He has significant ties to the community,” Hixson said. “He has been here for more than 10 years.”

Dixon accepted Powers’ recommendations, clarifying that Boone could contact his children via phone calls and letters.

He also found Boone ineligible for a court-appointed attorney. Hixson said Boone plans to hire a private attorney before his next court appearance, an April 21 arraignment.

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