Livermore lab worker faces sex assault, porn charges

Livermore lab worker faces sex assault, porn charges

Roman Gokhman, STAFF WRITER

LIVERMORE — A Lawrence Livermore Lab computer technician is facing several felony counts of sexual assault and child pornography after police found thousands of “disturbing” child porn photographs on several computers and at least five local victims.

“The photos are shocking,” Police Chief Steve Krull said. “It’s a troubling case.”

Jimmy Dean Sanderson, 49, appeared in court for the first time Monday. He is charged with oral copulation, two counts of penetration with a foreign object, posing a minor in a sexual manner — all felonies — and possession of child pornography, a misdemeanor.

The victims range in age from 7 to 10, except for one 26-year- old handicapped woman.

Sanderson was arrested July 25 at his home on the 500 block of Humboldt Way. Police began their investigation five days earlier, Capt. Steve Sweeney said. He did not say who the tip came from.

“We got some information and served a search warrant at his home,” Sweeney said. “He’s pretty involved.”

After the initial arrest, Sanderson posted $40,000 bail and was released. But just a few hours later, police “found new evidence” and arrested him again and this time the court set bail at $500,000, Krull said.

Police found several thousand photographs of nude girls on Sanderson’s personal computers. The photos were taken inside his home.

“We have a number of unidentified juveniles in the photos,” he said.

“In some instances, the victims’ faces were superimposed on other pornographic material.”

Sweeney said prior to a Monday afternoon press conference that some photographs were posted on the Internet.

Susan Houghton, spokeswoman for the Lawrence Livermore Lab, said Sanderson was hired by the lab in April 2002 and worked in an unclassified area as a computer programmer in the lab’s Industrial Partnership and Commercialization Department.

“From an intelligence perspective, there are no issues,” Houghton said.

His work computer and work area have been locked up by investigators, but police have not determined if he used his work computer for the alleged crimes.

Investigators still are trying to determine if there are other suspects involved, although there is no evidence that points to any other employees of the lab.

“We don’t know how large this is,” Krull said. “There are many, many more photos for us to look at.”

Sanderson is married and has a family, Krull said, but would not specify if the victims were his direct family members. He has no prior record.

Anyone who has children who may have come in contact with Sanderson is asked to call the police department at (925) 371-4717 and ask for Steve Sweeney.

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