66-year-old Larry Brinkin, the first man to use the phrase "domestic partner" in a lawsuit, was arrested in California Friday in connection with felony possession of child pornography, police said. The district attorney's office will reportedly decide Tuesday whether to file charges.
Media reports are offering more details on the horrific charges, and are also providing a picture of who Brinkin is and how he's been viewed. The Huffington Post republished an SF Weekly post that concludes with Theresa Sparks, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, saying:
"It's almost incredulous, there's no way I could believe such a thing...He's always been one of my heroes, and he's the epitome of human rights activist -- this is man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100 percent; hopefully it will all come out in the investigation."
But while there is a certain degree of disbelief, other sources are pointing out that the evidence against Brinkin certainly warrants investigation.
Caution: what follows is extremely disturbing.
The San Francisco Chronicle describes the allegations:
Police say that Brinkin had pornographic images, some that appear to show children as young as 1 and 2 or 3 years old being sodomized and performing oral sex on adult men, in e-mail attachments linked to his account, according to a search warrant served by San Francisco police.
Representatives of America Online contacted authorities after coming across e-mail attachments from one of its subscriber’s accounts containing what they believed to be child pornography.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which was assigned to the case, traced the IP address associated with the account, Zack3737@aol.com, to Brinkin, a San Francisco resident, according to court records. Los Angeles police forwarded the case to San Francisco police.
San Francisco investigators say the account was registered to Brinkin, and that he paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.
Police provided two examples of e-mail messages from last year in which Zack3737 provides disturbing descriptions of the exploitative sexual acts.
The e-mail account also is linked to Yahoo discussion groups on sexual exploitation of young boys and girls, according to the search warrant. [Emphasis added]
Though the Huffington Post links to part of an article from the SF Weekly, the updated article has far more graphic details:
Zack3737@aol.com — whom the police allege is Brinkin — provided graphic commentary on the photos of interracial adult-child sex. Comments included “I loved especially the ni**er 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bi*ch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White D*ck Rules!”
The AOL e-mail account was also linked to Yahoo! Groups centering around discussions of child porn, according to the search warrant. Investigators say they additionally found e-mails sent from Brinkin’s now-defunct city e-mail account to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Emphasis added]
The news follows the conclusion of "Pride Week," where Brinkin has been honored in the past. After he retired from his 22-year tenure at the Human Rights Commission, the Board of Supervisors even declared the week of February 1, 2o10 "Larry Brinkin Week" in San Francisco.
Brinkin, who reportedly has a longtime partner and teenage son, was not taking questions Monday, but several blogs have risen to his defense. According to PJ Media blogger Zombie, the "Lez Get Real" blog was the first to do so, writing:
There have been incidents where people have been arrested for possessing child pornography on their computer that turned out to be malware using the computer to launder the images. This can often be difficult for people to prove, however.
Do not be surprised that anti-LGBT organizations will use this arrest against the Community; however, it is important to remember that most pedophiles identify as straight, and there are many straight people who have been arrested, charged, and convicted for possession of child pornography.
Brinkin's co-workers and supporters seem just as stunned as everyone else by the arrest. The vice president of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations said Brinkin was always a consummate professional, and Bevan Dufty, who authored the board resolution for "Larry Brinkin Week," said: "I have admired and respected his work for the LGBT community...I respect and am confident that there will be due process."