gay rights activist charged with child porn distribution
By Sidney Brinkley
SAN FRANCISCO - Highly regarded Gay rights activist Lawrence (Larry) Brinkin turned himself in to authorities at the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Thursday, September 20 after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Brinkin was booked on two felony counts of distributing child pornography and four felony counts of possessing child pornography. He allegedly received and sent emails containing pornographic images of children.
Brinkin was arraigned on Wednesday, September 26 and bail was set at $240,000. As of this writing he had not posted bail. [UPDATE: Larry Brinkin did post bail. Pleaded "Not Guilty". Next court date Nov. 9]
“Possession and distribution of child pornography is a serious crime,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “A guilty plea or conviction on any count would require the defendant to register as a sex offender for life.”
Brinkin, 66, was originally arrested on Friday, June 22 as Gay Pride weekend got underway. He spent the night in jail but was released on Saturday, June 23 after posting bail. Brinkin was not charged at the time. The DA said a further investigation would be done before any official charges were filed.
Computers, VHS tapes, and other items belonging to Brinkin were seized from the home he shares with his husband of many years and their teenage son in the city’s Lower Haight neighborhood
However, after a three month investigation -- the DA says, “dozens of images of child pornography” were found on his computers -- the DA concluded there was enough evidence to bring formal charges and a new warrant was issued for Brinkin’s arrest.
This began earlier in 2012 when AOL notified the Los Angeles Police Department about a series of emails between a person in LA and Zack3737@aol.com. The emails contained interracially theamed images of adults having sex with toddlers. An investigation led police to the IP address of Larry Brinkin.
On May 8, LAPD notified the San Francisco Police Department whose own investigation found the AOL account of Zack3737 was paid for by Larry Brinkin via his credit card, and was being used during his tenure at the Human Rights Commission. The San Francisco DA issued the first warrant for Brinkin’s arrest in June.
In addition to the depiction of sexual acts, the images were accompanied by graphic racist commentary. It was reported that one said: "I loved especially the nigger 2-year-old getting nailed...White Power! White Supremacy! White Dick Rules!"
What’s particularly ironic about the comments is Larry Brinkin is Jewish.
A google of the email address of Zack3737 found it's a member of a Yahoo Group called “Slavenigger” self-described as:
“A Place where the ideology of intercourse in the antebellum south is resurrected in modern times for interracial "race play" or "racial play" – Which is getting aroused by intentionally using racial epithets like the word "nigger" or racist scenarios like a slave auction.”
Zack3737 has a number of postings on Slavenigger.
From July 28, 2011
“A coon is always a coon, a nigger can never get away from the fact that it’s a nigger this nigger cunt was lucky to find an aryan god to have anything to [do] with it…”
From October 3, 2011
“Ghetto Gaggers always gets my big white meat hard, but i want to see studs using nigger bitches and calling the dumb coons what they are.”
These allegations come as a major shock to San Francisco’s activists where Brinkin is well-liked and respected. He is credited with being the first to use the phrase “Domestic Partner” -- coined in 1982 during a discrimination lawsuit he filed against Southern Pacific Railway where he was employed at the time.
Though he lost the case he was victorious fifteen years later as a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission where Brinkin was instrumental in shaping the landmark San Francisco Equal Benefits Ordinance. Passed in 1997, it was the first in the nation to force employers to provide equal benefits coverage for domestic partners.
Brinkin retired from the Human Rights Commission in 2010 among much fanfare. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution marking the first seven days of February “Larry Brinkin Week.”
If found guilty on all counts, in addition to the lifetime registration as a sex offender, under California state law Brinkin faces a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for up to one year in state prison for “each” felony count.