MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Warning: this story contains graphic content and may not be suitable for all readers.
Charles Bennett Salter, III pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography during a federal change of plea hearing Wednesday.
Salter agreed to change his plea by way of video conference due to the ongoing pandemic.
Salter faced a federal indictment for two counts involving receiving and possessing child pornography. Count one regarding the receipt of child pornography was dismissed by way of the plea agreement.
Salter has been detained pending trial. Federal judge Jerusha Adams denied Salter’s request for bond earlier this year stating there were no conditions for bond that would assure Salter wouldn’t be a danger to the community or a flight risk.
Four-hundred pictures were found on Salter’s cell phone of fully clothed girls taken at a local restaurant and grocery store, apparently without their knowledge.
“A few images depicted two minor females, who were clothed, standing inside of a ladies’ restroom as the door was ajar,” Adams’ order stated. “All images appeared to be taken without the knowledge of the minors and were images of the groin, buttocks, or torso of these clothed, minor females.”
Investigators seized more than 20 devices that also contained pictures and videos of girls ages 4 through 12 in compromising positions, according to court records.
Those images were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who identified more than 1,500 images with known victims.
Salter was initially arrested by the SBI during a national sting investigation. While serving the search warrant at Salter’s house, state investigators found children’s underpants, duct tape, and child-size dolls, including some that were bound, in Salter’s room.
“According to law enforcement, after receiving his Miranda warnings, the defendant advised law enforcement that the images and items located in his bedroom were just part of his ‘fantasies,’” the order stated.
Salter was initially charged in state court with 10 counts of distribution of obscene material. Those charges are no longer being pursued due to the federal prosecution.
The maximum sentencing for possession of child pornography is 20 years, with supervised release of five years to life.
A judge will make the final determination on Salter’s sentence by weighing the sentencing guidelines and presentence report. No sentencing date has been set.