2 of 3 Seattle brothers in child porn probe face judge

by: KIRO 7 News Staff Updated:

SEATTLE - Two of three brothers in their 70s and 80s accused of child sexual exploitation appeared in court.

Two of the three Emery brothers, Charles, 82, and Thomas, 80, are in jail and appeared in King County Court Thursday morning.

The third brother, 78-year-old Edwin Emery, is at Harborview Medical Center, under watch by jail staff. Prosecutors did not explain why he was in the hospital.

His court date is scheduled for Sept. 5, but it is unclear if he will be ready to appear.

Reporter Graham Johnson was in the courtroom this morning and will have a report on the next steps in the case during our 5 p.m. newscast.  >>kiro.tv/LiveNews

Scroll down to read a timeline about the brothers. 


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The brothers are accused of collecting and producing child pornography for decades, and hoarding it in their home near Seattle's Green Lake.

Charles Emery, appeared before a judge in a wheelchair, looking frail and dazed.  He will get mental health evaluation at Western State Hospital and will return to court on Sept. 22, when he will enter a plea after the results of the evaluation are discussed.

His defense attorney said the request was based on his conversations with Charles Emery and staff members at the King County Jail. The judge agreed.

Thomas Emery walked into the courtroom on his own and pleaded not guilty.  His next court date is on Sept. 26 when there will be a status conference on his case.

Investigators also say even though the statute of limitations has long run out, they believe the brothers sexually abused female relatives.

Seattle police have searched the Emery brothers Seattle property near Green Lake at least three times and last week told KIRO 7 they were getting tips about other people who may have had contact with them.

"We're hearing from an awful lot of people now and we want to hear from anyone who has information on this," said Seattle Police Department Capt. Mike Edwards.

Detectives say Charles Emery wrote about murdering young girls, although it's unclear if the writings were only his.

Last weekend, cadaver dogs were used in a search of an Emery family property near Shelton, 12 miles from where 10-year-old Lindsey Baum disappeared in McCleary in 2009.

"They would have had the opportunity to be in the area at the time of Lindsey's disappearance, they certainly would have been the type of people that would have victimized a girl her age,” said Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott.

The Shelton property is large and overgrown. Investigators said last week they would need to return for more searching.

Timeline of events related to brothers' investigation 

August 31, 2017: Thomas and Charles appear in King County court. Charles Emery will get mental health evaluation at Western State Hospital and will return to court on Sept. 22. Thomas Emery pleaded not guilty.  Edwin Emery is at Harborview Medical Center and did not appear.

August 26, 2017: Detectives and cadaver dogs scour an overgrown Emery family property near Shelton for evidence. Some of the buildings there are so dilapidated that they might have to be demolished to be searched.

August 23, 2017: Detectives return to the 141 N.E. 59th St. property and search the home as part of a forensic investigation. Some of the detectives involved are with the Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

August 17, 2017: The brothers, Edwin, Thomas and Charles Emery, are charged with second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and another count of second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

August 16, 2017: Seattle police Detective Danial Conine gets a search warrant for several boxes and bags of materials provided by an Emery relative, listed as T.W. in court documents. The search warrant is signed by King County Superior Court Judge Helen Halpert. Conine searches the materials provided by T.W., which allegedly includes hundreds of nude images of children, dozens of pairs of children’s penny loafer shoes, children’s underwear that appears used, condoms that appear used, dozens of books and articles related to child homicides and handwritten notes describing how girls would wear penny loafers prior to abuse and murders occurring, according to charging documents.

August 9, 2017: A relative of Charles Emery, who has legal guardianship over him, contacts police and says she has discovered “boxes of material including pornographic images of underage girls, young girls clothing/shoes, magazine clippings of missing and murdered young girls and handwritten notes detailing the kidnapping, torturing, raping and murdering of young girls during the process of cleaning out the garage area,” according to a police document.

January 25, 2013: Seattle police Detective Danial Conine interviews Edwin Emery at 141 N.E. 59th St. He admits there could be child pornography on his computer, admits to sexual abuse of one of his sisters and that sister’s daughter, according to court documents. Then age 73, Edwin Emery also discusses his sexual attraction to “sub-teenage” girls, court documents state. The interview is recorded. However, prosecutors do not file charges.

January 22, 2013: Seattle police contact Office Depot employees who had reported Edwin Emery brought his black Xion custom-built desktop computer tower with a Seagate 320 GB hard drive there for service and repair. Employees say they had conducted a diagnostic check on the computer and found images of suspected female child pornography. Seattle police are given consent to check the computer by Edwin Emery, and a forensic examination leads to the discovery of roughly 20 pictures of child erotica, nudist colony activity and several lascivious display images, according to court documents.

September 7, 1987: Ermina Emery, the mother of the suspects and wife of Harold, dies.

December 24, 1970: Harold W. Emery, father of the suspects, dies at age 75. Emery, who was a private in the U.S. Army, is buried at the Willamette National Cemetery in Oregon. Harold Emery lived at the 141 N.E. 59th Street, which was searched by police in 2017.

March 14, 1962: Edwin H. Emery, one of the three brothers, buys the Green Lake property at 141 N.E. 59th St. in Seattle. March 14, 1962, is the day the deed was filed. Edwin purchases the home for $12,950. City directories list only Thomas D. Emery at the property in 1965, 1980 and 1990. The 1965 Seattle city directory lists Thomas and Edwin H. Emery. 

November 17, 1938: Edwin Harold Emery is born.

July 14, 1937: Thomas Edwin Emery is born.

October 15, 1934: Charles Lee Emery is born.


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