Claims to fame: Republican Orange County, California, Superior Court Judge (appointed to the bench in 1995 by Republican Governor Pete Wilson); kiddie-porn addict
Moral apex: Busted in 2001 for storing more than 100 sexually explicit images of young boys on his home computer. Ultimately, more than 1,500 photos were found in Kline’s possession.
How he was caught: A Canadian “vigilante hacker infiltrated his computer with a Trojan horse written to catch pedophiles,” reported Information Week. “Hacker Brad Willman embedded a Trojan in child porn images and planted them on sites frequented by pedophiles. Downloading the images gave Willman access to their PCs. He passed information he discovered” — which included a diary Kline kept of his sexual fantasies about young boys — “to a group that tracks pedophiles, and Kline’s made its way to California authorities. ‘We wouldn’t have known about this without him,’ says Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples.”
However: “The problem: Since it wasn’t a legal search, the case, at first, was tossed. Then prosecutors convinced an appeals court that Willman had been working on his own accord. After the trial was back on, Kline confessed.”
In 2007, after six years of legal wrangling, Kline’s guilty plea to four counts of possessing child pornography resulted in Kline being sentenced to 27 months in federal prison, and ordered to stay away from the Internet (and computers altogether) for a three-year probation period. He was also supposed to register as a sex offender, although there is no sign of him anywhere in the California Registered Sex Offenders database.
Anything else? Wisely, he didn’t seek reelection in 2002. But even if voters had been (or would be in the future) stupid enough to reelect him, it wouldn’t have done any good; he was censured and barred “from receiving an assignment, appointment, or reference of work from any California state court” by the California Commission on Judicial Performance in 2006.
Maybe he should have gotten a better lawyer: Kline’s attorney was Paul S. Meyer, who failed just as miserably to defend Conservative Babylonian Jeffrey Ray Nielsen against charges of man-on-boy child molestation.
“I think I’m going to faint.”
— Kline, upon being sentenced
Suggested Bible reading for Mr. Kline:
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
— Matthew 18:9
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