Crime

Psychologist at B.C. schools had child porn at Point Roberts home

A former child psychologist for schools in British Columbia has pleaded guilty to downloading hundreds of files of child pornography at his home in Point Roberts.

Dr. William Samuel Brook, 66, tried to cross the U.S.-Canadian border into Point Roberts on May 7, 2014. Instead he was taken into a room by three Homeland Security agents who had been tipped off that Brook — a psychologist for the Delta, B.C., school district — bought child pornography online via a PayPal account a few months earlier.

The agents found a laptop in the backseat of Brook’s Toyota Corolla and asked him if the computer had sexual pictures of children on it. Brook said no. The agents searched the computer and found Brook had, in fact, told the truth: There was nothing illegal on the laptop.

Yet he seemed very nervous: His hands shook, he had trouble swallowing, he couldn’t sit still, and his “carotid artery was heavily pulsating,” according to charging papers filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. His medication, he said, was making his mouth dry.

One of the investigators noticed a receipt on the computer for a man named Sam Bowery, although the email address on the receipt had Brook’s initials. He asked Brook about it.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “That’s a fictitious name I made up.”

Brook claimed he used the fake name to chat online about child abuse. Gradually, Brook admitted he had pictures — “just pictures of kids,” though later he conceded “some of them” were nude — on a computer at his apartment in the 1800 block of Benson Road. So they drove there.

“I just want to erase the stuff,” Brook said, as he unlocked the door of his apartment and led the agents inside.

On his laptop he pulled up a peer-to-peer file-sharing program. Under his user name, Bilikoe, he’d written: “I love pre-teen/pubescent boys and young teens (. Max14).”

Nightmarish videos were found on the computer: Boys age 7 to 9 having sex with each other and being molested by a grown man; a three-minute video of a man raping a boy. Brook called that video “one of my favorites” when he gave out a password to another user, about two weeks before his arrest.

Brook has been fired by the Delta School District, and since May he wasn’t allowed to go outside of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties.

He briefly lived at a 55-and-older apartment complex in Bellingham, until a neighbor noticed his GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet and Googled his name. He was evicted within the week, then moved to a Tacoma halfway house.

Brook entered a guilty plea in early December. The plea was formally accepted by a federal judge last week. As part of the deal, Brook admitted that he owned more than 600 images of child porn and over 70 videos of child porn.

Brook gave a password to at least 27 people so he could share the explicit photos and videos of children. In one chat log, Brook told another peer-to-peer user he once “made out” with an 11-year-old and had “sex” with a 14-year-old. Brook hadn’t been charged with child molestation or child rape in federal or Washington state court as of Wednesday, Dec. 31.

For one count of possessing child pornography, federal prosecutors will recommend a sentence of no more than six years in prison, plus a lifetime of probation and supervision. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 27.

In letters of support, family members said Brook, in his youth, helped to translate the Bible into African tribal dialects as a Presbyterian missionary in Cameroon. After getting his doctorate at the University of Texas in Austin, Brook moved to Arizona in 1993. He worked as a school psychologist in Phoenix and, according to one colleague’s letter, compiled research for the National Association of School Psychologists on the subject of children’s rights.

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