DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

Gravy-Covered Laptop Leads To Child Porn Plea

Iowan faces maximum of 20 years in prison

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Gravy Man Plea

AUGUST 22--The Iowa man whose child porn stash was discovered by Best Buy workers when he brought in his “gravy covered computer” for repairs has pleaded guilty to charges for which he could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

During a court appearance late last month, Robert Leo Watson, 54, copped to 10 child porn possession charges, according to a court filing. Each count carries a maximum two-year prison term and a minimum fine of $625

Watson, who has been jailed since his arrest in late-April, is scheduled for sentencing on September 26 in District Court in Des Moines.

As detailed in a criminal complaint, Watson’s legal troubles began after he brought a damaged laptop into Best Buy for examination by “Geek Squad” members. The computer ceased functioning “because he had spilled gravy on the keyboard rendering this device unusable.”

Watson purchased a replacement machine and “paid an additional fee to have the files on his used gravy covered computer transferred to his newly purchased computer," a Des Moines Police Department investigator noted.

It was during the subsequent file migration that Best Buy workers discovered the illicit images, prompting them to contact police. Watson had saved the child porn photos under file names like “13 year old” and “14 year old.”

During police questioning, Watson confessed to downloading images of “4 and 5 year olds” that he felt “were about to have sex.” He claimed to have downloaded the photos “because he wanted to tell other people about them.” (3 pages)