Jurors see graphic porn evidence in Pelo trial

Matt Buedel

Jurors in the rape trial of former Bloomington police Sgt. Jeff Pelo viewed Wednesday violent pornography found on Pelo’s computers over repeated objections by defense attorney Michael Rosenblat.

Some of the jurors grimaced when images of rape and bondage were displayed. One breathed an audible sigh of relief at the conclusion of two videos projected on an overhead screen.

Rosenblat had argued before testimony in the trial began to have the computer evidence excluded, but only four of six videos were denied admission to the trial.

He continued to object to individual items Wednesday but was overruled on those objections as well.

Bloomington police cybercrime Detective Bill Lynn testified that dozens of complete and partial images depicting rape and bondage had been deleted from three computers seized from Pelo’s home in June 2006, but they were recovered.

Some of the images showed sex acts forced at gun and knifepoint, while others showed victims bound.

Pelo is accused of emulating the pornographic material in four rapes from 2002 through 2005.

Lynn said many of the images were discovered because of automatic updates to software used to surf the Internet in August 2005.

Lynn also said he discovered links in the history of one computer’s media player to 382 rape-related pornographic videos downloaded between January and early June 2006.

The computers were seized the same day Pelo was arrested on June 10, 2006.

When Lynn testified at the earlier motion hearing outside the presence of the jury, Rosenblat cross-examined him for well over an hour. On Wednesday, however, Rosenblat asked Lynn fewer than a dozen questions.

Rosenblat focused on whether the computer analysis could show whether the entire videos were viewed or whether only a fraction of the material was played.

Lynn said the analysis could not show whether the entire videos were viewed.

Pelo, 43, is charged with 37 counts in connection with the rapes of four women between 2002 and 2005 and the stalking of a fifth in 2006.

The trial is in its fourth week, and testimony continues today.

Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or mbuedel@pjstar.com.