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Sat, Dec. 07

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.

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