Going over the evidence

Editor’s note: It is the Boomerang’s policy not to run names of defendants in sex crime cases until a conviction, or guilty or no contest pleas, unless the accused is a person of public interest, such as an elected official, or a person of public trust, such as a teacher or counselor.

Electronic evidence seized from former therapist Scott Alan Addison was discussed at a District Court hearing Thursday to see if it would be admissible in his Dec. 11 trial. No decision was made Thursday, but a future hearing will be scheduled to further discuss if the evidence is appropriate.

At his District Court arraignment March 28, Addison pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault, one count of blackmail, two counts of attempted blackmail, one count of felonious restraint and 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Addison could be sentenced up to 275 years in prison and pay $200,000 in fines if he is found guilty.

University of Wyoming Police Department Officer Jonathan Root told Judge Tori Kricken at the hearing Thursday that he is assisting the investigation by creating reports on the different types of data on devices seized from Addison’s residence. Root said he uses a universal forensic extraction device — which can show images, text messages and more information about what was on the devices — to go through what he described as Addison’s primary phone as well as other devices.

“I have spent about 60 hours looking through the phones and I am almost done with (Addison’s primary phone),” Root said. “From what I can tell, a large portion of the 11,000 images on his primary phone are sexual in nature.”

The universal forensic extraction device program gathers information from devices such as when and where text messages and photos were made. Root said several of the messages and pictures presented as evidence during the hearing were deleted at one point, resulting in data such as location and date being lost, he said.

“Because they are deleted, the majority of the information is gone,” Root said. “The program provides the make, model and time, information beyond that is circumstantial.”

Creating reports of the information takes time for Root to do because he typically has to go through each of the several thousand images and text messages to find information pertaining to a specific person or charge. Going through the evidence, Root said he selects photos and conversations he finds that are not as graphic but are still sexual in nature for the hearing.

“I don’t feel like I am halfway done with everything,” Root said. “These examples are the least graphic of the much more graphic pictures I have seen on the device.”

The phone containing the evidence court officials examined was seized from Addison’s residents after Laramie Police Department officers used the victims’ descriptions of the vehicle he used, the location of the assaults to charge Addison with the assaults, court documents state.

Addison was also identified by victims during a photographic line up, containing a picture of him, court documents state.

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