Crisler will stand Trial for Child Porn Charge

January 23, 2009 10:10:52 PM PST
Prosecutors say Donny Crisler was looking at pictures of naked boys on a computer at the county-run library in Lindsay. His case had been delayed several times.Prosecutors say Donny Crisler was looking at pictures of naked boys on a computer at the county-run library in Lindsay. His case had been delayed several times.

Donny Crisler nodded his head to show he understands one of two interpreters who help him communicate in court. Crisler is mute and deaf. His attorney says Crisler was never trained in American Sign Language.

Donny Crisler's Attorney Roland Soltesz said, "So what requires is two sign language interpreters one interprets American sign language into what I would call a slang sign language, a more informal sign."

Over the last few months, Soltesz has argued Crisler suffers from mental problems, and is not competent to stand trial. But on Friday, Judge Elisabeth Krant disagreed and said he should stand trial.

After reading the Dr's reports the judge determined Chrisler does not have a psychiatric disorder that would interfere with his concept of reality and also that he understands court proceedings and the charges that are against him.

Crisler was arrested last year for allegedly looking at naked pictures of boys while he was using a public computer at the Lindsay Library. Librarian Brenda Biesterfeld was fired after her boss allegedly told her not to report the incident to police. Biesterfeld is suing the county.

As for Crisler, he's now facing one child pornography charge instead of seven. And it's all because of a State Supreme Court ruling last month involving another Valley child porn case. The court ruled Visalia Suspect Eric Manfredi should only be charged with one count of child pornography even if there were numerous illegal images found on his computer. Crisler's case is being handled the same way.

Assistant District Attorney Don Gallian said, "Since it is one computer it basically gets charged at one count regardless of how many different children are in fact displayed."

The California District Attorneys Association plans to challenge this ruling. Crisler faces a maximum of three years in prison, if convicted.

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