Asimov son in PC porn case

David Asimov, son of the late science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, was arraigned in Sonoma County (Calif.) Municipal Court on Monday and charged with felony exploitation of a child and related child pornography charges.

David Asimov, son of the late science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, was arraigned in Sonoma County (Calif.) Municipal Court on Monday and charged with felony exploitation of a child and related child pornography charges.

Asimov, 46, was arrested on Thursday, after members of the Santa Rosa Police Department seized more than 4,000 computer disks and videotapes from his Bennett Ridge home.

"There were thousands of disks, thousands of videos," said Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Gary Medvigy, who is handling the case. "Anything imaginable regarding sex between human beings and human beings, or human beings and animals, was there. Whatever your imagination can conjure up, he had it."

According to Assigned Detective Mariano Zamudio, of the Sex Crimes and Family Violence Unit, the police raided Asimov's home after they received a tip from a local computer repair shop. Asimov had reportedly brought his PC to the store when its scanner and color printer malfunctioned. When a technician working on the machine allegedly discovered images of children engaged in sexual acts with adults, a store supervisor contacted the police.

Child porn "processing center"
Based on the strength of that evidence, and store records showing Asimov to be the owner of the computer, the police were able to obtain a search warrant for his home, Zamudio explained. Police then proceeded to Asimov's four-bedroom house, expecting to find a rather small cache.

"We thought we'd discover some floppy discs, maybe a few pictures," Zamudio said.

Instead, they found what Medvigy called a "processing center" for child pornography. In addition to the videotapes and computer disks recovered, police reportedly found videocameras, several VCRs, and editing equipment.

"He had a whole lot of editing and mass production capabilities," Zamudio said. "We were greeted by thousands of tapes, disks, periodicals, and commercial videos with covers showing child pornography. We spent two days collecting, packaging, and transporting all the items."

In the coming weeks, police and prosecutors plan to examine the seized items to determine whether Asimov was involved in their production or merely possessed them for personal gratification.

"I couldn't tell you if it was for personal use, national use, or international use," Medvigy said. "It's just too early to say."

Asimov is currently being held on $250,000 bail, pending a scheduled bail hearing in Sonoma County Municipal Court on Wednesday.