Crowder granted bond

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2005

A former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football coach facing 58 charges of felony child pornography, and who has already pled guilty to sex crimes involving children in Virginia Beach, was granted bond Friday in Suffolk Circuit Court.

Calling the child porn charges &uot;passive conduct,&uot; Judge Rodham Delk allowed Kenneth Wayne Crowder a $15,000 bond on the conditions that he not be around minors, except his son, not use the Internet, and have a 7 p.m. curfew. Delk had previously denied Crowder bond in a July 29 hearing. Crowder entered a plea of not guilty to the pornography charges and will have a jury trial Oct. 24.

Prosecutor Marie Wells argued against granting bond to Crowder, who has been held in the Virginia Beach city jail since his July 26 arrest for the pornography charges.

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&uot;We believe that he is a danger to society,&uot; she said, &uot;and that he should not be released on bond.&uot;

Dr. Stephen Ganderson, who is performing a court-ordered psycho-sexual evaluation on Crowder, testified for the defense that he’d met with Crowder three times and Crowder’s wife Sylvia once. He said that Crowder had been interviewed and taken a pencil-paper test, and that he planned to perform further tests, such as a polygraph examination.

&uot;You don’t have a crystal ball to see whether he will (commit any crimes) if he’s released on bond, do you?&uot; Wells asked on cross-examination.

&uot;Unfortunately, I do not have a crystal ball,&uot; Ganderson said.

Delk did not permit Wells to ask about the Viagra and condoms found in Crowder’s car during his original arrest in December in Virginia Beach, nor about the transcripts of his e-mailed conversations with a detective posing as a 13-year-old boy in a sting operation.

&uot;The charges in Suffolk are not acts directed at specific individuals,&uot; Delk said. &uot;The issue is if passive activity is a threat to the community.&uot;

Wells asked for $5,000 bond on each charge, but Delk disagreed.

&uot;I’m not minimizing what (Crowder’s crime) is or the consequences of it,&uot; he said.

An angry Wells did not comment after the hearing. Crowder’s attorney, Moody Stallings (William Johnson is representing Crowder on the Virginia Beach case) said that he expected Crowder to be released late Friday or at some point over the weekend.

Last Dec. 28, Crowder was arrested in the sting operation and charged with attempting indecent liberties and use of a communication device for procuring minors for obscene materials. On March 28, he pled guilty to the charges in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

On July 25, the day before he was scheduled to be sentenced, Crowder was arrested at his Northbrooke Avenue home for the child pornography charges. As part of his December arrest, police seized his home computer, on which numerous images of children in sexually explicit positions were found. This caused his sentencing in the Virginia Beach case to be pushed back to Oct. 11.