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8:07 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

Prescott man faces up to 170 years for child pornography

Knute Kolmann

Knute Kolmann

A Prescott man faces 100 to 170 years in prison after a jury convicted him Wednesday of 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after detectives found child pornography on his computer.

The jury, which deliberated for three hours over two days, also convicted Knute Kolmann, 67, of one count of conspiracy for downloading and printing child pornography, said Deputy County Attorney Glen Hammond.

Hammond thanked the jurors for "doing their civic duty in this case. It's not an easy job to see these kinds of photographs."

The case began in 2006 when Elizabeth McClain of Apache Junction brought her computer to a Mesa shop for repairs, police said. The repairman found child pornography on it and contacted police. During the investigation, detectives discovered e-mails between McClain and Kolmann. Prescott officers then obtained a search warrant for his Cibola Circle house and computer in November 2006. McClain and Kolmann originally contacted each other through the website Craigslist.

When police searched Kolmann's house in November 2006 they found images of young children posed for "sexual gratification," Hammond told the jury in his opening argument. He called the pictures "rather horrific."

In a separate case, authorities also charged Kolmann with forgery, identity theft, interfering with judicial proceedings and failure to appear in court, according to court records.

In addition to child pornography, detectives found a passport and a Nevada driver's license with Kolmann's picture and someone else's name inside his house, Hammond said.

Back in 2006, a Pinal County judge sentenced McClain to 10 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, Hammond said. The judge also sentenced McClain, who is currently in prison serving her sentence, to probation for attempted sexual exploitation of a minor that she must serve when released from prison, Hammond said.

"Knute got a fair trial and we appreciate the efforts of the jury," said Tom Kelly, one of Kolmann's defense lawyers. However, with a sentence of 100 years in prison pending, his client will appeal his conviction, Kelly said.

Superior Court Judge Thomas B. Lindberg scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 26.