A local real estate business owner who was arrested this week on suspicion of possessing child pornography pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday.
Robin Blake entered the plea on child pornography charges during his initial appearance in United States District Court Eastern District of California in Fresno, according to Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.
The 52-year-old owner of Atwater-Merced Realty was taken into custody after federal investigators issued a warrant for his arrest, stemming from materials found in his home during 2005 investigation by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said deputies conducted a search warrant on Blake's home in the 7000 block of Louise Court in Winton after he was accused of taking photos of a partially-nude 12-year-old girl.
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After obtaining Blake's computer, MacKenzie said the deputies discovered the photos of the girl -- in addition to more than 100 pictures of child pornography and movies. The pornographic materials were turned over to the FBI, MacKenzie said.
In Merced County Superior Court last month, Blake pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor for the photos that were taken of the 12-year-old girl. He received a sentence of 60 days in jail, but received credit for time served, according to Merced County Superior Court’'s clerk’s office.
He did not have to register as a convicted sex offender. Blake remains in custody at the Fresno County Jail.
Blake is suspected of violating federal laws involving distribution, receiving and possession of child pornography, according to the criminal complaint in the case.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.