• Gig Harbor man charged with 16 child porn counts

    By: Kevin McCarty

    Updated:

    GIG HARBOR, Wash. - A former Clark County commissioner and executive director of a statewide medical association faces charges of possessing graphic child pornography involving children under the age of 3.

    According to the charges, Bruce Frickelton, 72, has been involved in the downloading and trading of child pornography online since at least 2012.

    A probable cause affidavit filed in Pierce County Superior Court states Frickelton was first spotted by an undercover operation conducted by the department of Homeland Security after messages were spotted on Craigslist in 2012 and tracked to a computer at his home in Gig Harbor.

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    On Monday he was charged with 16 counts of possessing child porn.

    “His computer’s been seized by the state and we’re in the process of retaining an expert to look at those,” said Frickelton’s attorney Don Winskill.

    According to the probable cause affidavit, a search of Frickelton's computer found 189 images of suspected child pornography involving boys and girls including some "estimated to be under the age of 3.”

    Frickelton was the former head of the Washington State Chiropractic Association and before that the county commissioner of Clark County in the 1970s.

    He was arrested at his home Sunday after he and his wife returned from a cruise out of the country.

    “He adamantly denies these charges,” said Winskill. "We’re going to try to find out what was on the computer and how it got on the computer.”

    Frickelton has a 2004 conviction in King County for possession child pornography according to prosecutors.

    He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance on Monday. His bail was set at $100,000.

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