Originally Published: June 25, 2012 9:47 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Timothy Jackson, who police said had downloaded thousands of pornographic pictures and videos of children onto a rented laptop computer, on Monday turned down a plea agreement offered by the state and will instead take his chances with a jury.
"Detectives located over 4,000 sexual images of young children on the laptop," Prescott Police Lt. Andy Reinhardt said. "Jackson said he did it because he was curious."
On Nov. 10, 2011 an officer answered a call about a Compaq computer returned to a rental business that had pornographic images of young boys saved to its hard drive. The store manager told the officer Jackson had bought the rent-to-own laptop computer in May 2011 and returned it in October 2011 saying he was unable to continue making payments on it.
A day or so after the manager sent the laptop to their service department, which routinely erases and clears the hardware before it's rented out again, she said a technician called her to say he found pornographic photos of young boys saved to the hard drive. When the manager turned the laptop on, the background image was a photo of a young boy with no clothes on posing in a vehicle.
According to the police report, the manager then opened files on the laptop to show the officer 30 other photographs of several different young boys without clothing on, as well as a video of a young boy washing himself in a shower with an older man behind him.
The officer seized the laptop and brought it back to detectives who did forensic searches. Detectives then spoke with Jackson, who told them that "his curiosity started about a year ago," Reinhardt said.
Jackson allegedly told detectives a nephew had stayed with him during May and June who may have used the computer, but detectives showed Jackson that many of the sexual images of young boys were downloaded when Jackson had said the nephew was not there, Reinhardt said.
Jackson told detectives he had downloaded the images after searching for them on Google, Reinhardt said, but forensic searches showed some images and videos came from websites out of the country and some were emailed to Jackson.
When detectives asked Jackson if he knew what he did was illegal, Jackson told them he didn't know it was illegal, but he thought it might be, Reinhardt said.
Jackson has been charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
On Monday, Bob Gundacker, Jackson's lawyer, told Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley that they would not take the plea and asked her to set a trial date.
Ainley set the five-day trial for the earliest date available, Dec. 12.