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Drug investigation leads to sex video of minor

Carl Cameron

Carl Cameron

June 6, 2012 Update:

State drops sex exploitation case against Carl Cameron

The Yavapai County Attorney's Office dismissed charges of commercial sexual exploitation of a minor and furnishing harmful items to a minor originally filed against 63-year-old Carl Cameron of Cottonwood.

In December 2010, Cameron's home in the 1000 block of Fourth Street had been searched as part of an investigation into drug use and trafficking. He continues to face 11 drug counts for dangerous drugs, marijuana possession and paraphernalia from that search.

But a separate case that resulting from the search has now been "dismissed for insufficient evidence," according to filings in Yavapai County Superior Court. While searching Cameron's home, detectives said they found a pornographic video using an apparent minor. Investigators seized a video, dated 2001, that showed "an apparent minor-aged girl, directed by Cameron to disrobe and pose in sexual positions," according to the original police report.

The girl, who had since moved to California, was interviewed and found to have been a family friend of Cameron. He had offered her a chance to earn extra money by house cleaning. Instead, she told police that,on the day she came to work, he offered her drugs. In addition, she admitted modeling clothes Cameron had provided, which eventually led to nudity, while posing under Cameron's direction.

The girl was reportedly 17 at the time.

In August 2011, Cameron's attorney, Robert Launders, argued that the same video tape that was the foundation on which Cameron was charged with sexual exploitation, had already been dismissed as evidence when originally seized in a separate 2006 drug-related case in which Cameron was a defendant.

Launders argued to the court that the case should be dismissed, "In 2006, the State seizes the video in question. In 2007, the court rules that the video was seized illegally. As a result of the court ruling, the video is returned to Mr. Cameron. In 2010, the State seizes the same video and charges Cameron with possession of the video."

Launders added: "They could not use the evidence then, and there is no reason they should be allowed to use it now. The State says the tape was not contraband in 2006 and it cannot be contraband now."

The court agreed and Judge Warren Darrow dismissed the sexual exploitation case, in which he had been charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor plus furnishing harmful items to a minor.

Beginning Aug. 22, Cameron still faces a four-day trial in Div. 7 on the 11 drug counts that pre-date the exploitation case.

Original Story:

COTTONWOOD - On Valentine's Day, Yavapai County Sheriff's Special Crimes detectives, arrested 62-year-old Cottonwood resident, Carl Cameron. Cameron is charged with commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, and furnishing harmful items to a minor.

In December Cameron's home, in the 1000 block Fourth Street, was searched as part of a narcotics investigation. He was subsequently arrested for possession of dangerous drugs, sale of dangerous drugs, transfer of dangerous drugs, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a weapon during a drug offense. He had since posted bond.

During that narcotics investigation, detectives allegedly found evidence of sex crimes with the exploitation of a minor and obtained a search warrant to investigate these specific crimes in January.

The evidence included a videotape found by detectives in December. In the video, dated in 2001, an apparent minor-aged girl was directed by Cameron to disrobe and pose in sexual positions, according to the report.

Detectives discovered the name of the young girl and tracked her to California. Detectives determined she was 17 at the time of filming.

Assisted by California detectives, the young girl was interviewed and confirmed her part in the video. She said she had lived in the Cottonwood area at the time, and Cameron was considered a family friend. He had offered her the chance to earn extra money by house cleaning and, on the date the video was made, the victim had come to his home to work.

Instead, Cameron offered her drugs. She admitted she took the narcotics then began modeling clothes given to her by Cameron, which led to nudity and posing under his direction.

Detectives obtained a warrant and arrested Cameron. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and remains in custody on a $35,000 bond.

-- Contact the reporter at jhutchinson@verdenews.com

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