San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession

January 28, 2014 - 2:07 PM

San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession

Larry Brinkin, convicted of felony child pornography possession on Jan. 21, had served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for 22 years. (AP)

WARNING: Some of the language in this story is graphic and disturbing.

(CNSNews.com) – Larry Brinkin, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Francisco for 22 years and was a prominent homosexual rights activist for more than 40 years, pleaded guilty to felony child pornography possession last week.

Brinkin is expected to serve six months in jail, five years of probation, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life when he is sentenced on Mar. 5. But he likely will get to keep his city pension because possessing and viewing child porn apparently is not considered a crime of “moral turpitude” under San Francisco’s retirement/pension rules.

According to police, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly,  Brinkin had photographic images of children between the ages of 1 and 3 who were being sodomized and forced to perform oral sex on adult men.

Also, in e-mails attributed to Brinkin using the account  “Zack3737@aol.com,” he praised interracial adult-child sex saying, in one message, “I loved especially the [N-word]  2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White D--- Rules!”

child pornography

(AP Image)

Brinkin, who is “married” to partner Wood Massi and has a son with two mothers, retired from the city’s Human Rights Commission in 2010, when he was 64 years old. At the time and with the support of city official Bevan Dufty, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in honor of Brinkin’s work over the years to combat discrimination, passed a resolution declaring the first seven days of February 2010 “Larry Brinkin Week.”

While on the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin had worked as a compliance officer, responsible for helping to ensure non-discrimination against employees. He had been instrumental, back in 1982, in implementing San Francisco’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, which required employers to provide equal coverage for “domestic partners.” Further, Brinkin has been a long-time advocate for gay “marriage.”

The archived pages of SF Pride say of Brinkin, "Larry Brinkin has been an activist in San Francisco for over 35 years, co-founding Bay Area Gay Liberation, the Lesbian/Gay Labor Alliance, and the Gay & Lesbian Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. He was a pioneer in the struggle for domestic partner benefits and currently is the manager of the LGBT&HIV Division of the SF Human Rights Commission.  He played a major role in recent years in the struggle for transgender rights."

Brinkin was first arrested in the child pornography investigation in June 2012. According to the news reports, in early 2012 America Online (AOL) had contacted authorities after discovering e-mails and child pornographic images in one of the company’s subscriber accounts.

The Los Angeles Police Department, then put in charge of the case, traced the IP address of the e-mail account Zack3737@aol.com to Larry Brinkin. Police then confirmed that Brinkin had paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.

ABC News 7 (KGO-TV San Francisco) report on Brinkin's initial arrest in June 2012:

At that point, the San Francisco Police Department was informed of the case and carried on the investigation.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported in June 2012, “Police say that Brinkin had pornographic images, some that appear to show children as young as 1 and 2 or 3 years old being sodomized and performing oral sex on adult men, in e-mail attachments linked to his account, according to a search warrant served by San Francisco police.”

dufty

City of San Francisco official Bevan Dufty, who helped sponsor the resolution declaring Feb. 1-7, 2010, "Larry Brinkin Week."

“Police provided two examples of e-mail messages from last year in which Zack3737 provides disturbing descriptions of the exploitative sexual acts,” reported The Chronicle. “The e-mail account also is linked to Yahoo discussion groups on sexual exploitation of young boys and girls, according to the search warrant.”

“Investigators say they additionally found e-mails sent from Brinkin’s now-defunct city e-mail account to Zack373@aol.com,” reported SF Weekly.

Later, on Sept. 26, 2012, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon officially charged Brinkin “with 2 counts of distributing child pornography and 4 counts of possessing child pornography,” reads a press release. “The defendant allegedly received and sent emails containing pornographic images of children.”

The district attorney’s press release further says, “Investigators determined the defendant received e-mails and sent two reply emails containing the child pornography. On June 22, the San Francisco Police Department seized computers belonging to the defendant containing dozens of images of child pornography.”

Like the e-mail already mentioned, the Bay Area Reporter noted that police cited in court records another e-mail comment about a child porn image where Brinkin boasted about a 2-to-3-year-old caucasian child being sodomized by a black adult male.

After Brinkin's initial arrest, Theresa Sparks, executive director of San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, told the media, “It’s almost incredulous, there’s no way I could believe such a thing. He’s always been one of my heroes, and he’s the epitome of human rights activist – this is the man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100%. Hopefully, it will all come out in the investigation.”

gay, rainbow

(AP Photo)

Bevan Dufty, who served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and now is director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement in the mayor’s office, following Brinkin’s arrest said, “I have admired and respected his work for the LGBT community. I respect and am confident that there will be due process.”

Several e-mail and telephone inquiries from CNSNews.com to Dufty, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), and its media relations contact, David Miree, for comment on Larry Brinkin’s guilty plea were not answered before this story was posted.

HRC Executive Director Theresa Sparks did speak with the Bay Area Reporter, however, saying, “Overall, I have no comment, obviously, professionally. But personally I think it’s just a very, very sad commentary, a very sad situation. I’m heartbroken it happened.”

Brinkin had worked at the Human Rights Commission for 22 years and retired in 2010, when he was making a salary of $135,000, according to SF Weekly.

Concerning whether Brinkin will retain his city pension, his attorney Randall Knox said he did not think the felony child porn possession conviction was relevant because it apparently does not fall under “moral turpitude,” as explained in the city rule Proposition C.

“This is not a moral turpitude crime,” Knox told the Bay Area Reporter, and it is “not something that happened when he was working for the city.”

sparks

Theresa Sparks, executive director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. (Photo: CAHRO)

Under that law, approved in 2008, a city employee who commits a crime involving “moral turpitude” cannot collect retirement benefits from the city.

In a June 2008 voter guide released by SPUR, a non-profit group that focuses on urban policy in San Francisco, it explains Proposition C- Moral Turpitude as follows, “As applied to crimes that might be committed in connection with employment with the City, moral turpitude often involves some kind of theft of public property, including materials and services.

“Proposition C is an amendment to the San Francisco City Charter that would prevent retired City employees who are convicted of crimes of moral turpitude from receiving the City-funded portion of their pension, if the crimes were committed ‘in connection with their employment.’”

Brinkin pleaded guilty in his plea deal on Jan. 21. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 5. The plea deal reduced the six felony child pornography charges to one felony count of possessing child porn.

In addition to the six months’ incarceration, home detention, probation, and registering as a sex offender for life, Brinkin will also have to undergo sex offender therapy, “and is banned from working with kids, contacting a juvenile without parental consent, and living with someone responsible for a child without disclosing his offender status,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle.