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UCSF psychiatrist pleads not guilty to child porn charges

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Billy Lockhart booking photo. (Courtesy SFPD)
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A University of California at San Francisco psychiatrist who was arrested last week pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Billy Lockhart, 36, a resident at UCSF’s Department of Psychiatry, is accused of possessing around 1,500 images and 280 videos of children being sexually molested, some of them showing infants as young as 6 to 8 months old, prosecutors said Monday.

Lockhart was arrested last week along with Benjamin Martin, 33, at the home they share in the 100 block of Buena Vista Terrace. Martin, who faces one count of possessing child pornography, is expected to make his first appearance in court on Wednesday.

Lockhart is out of custody after posting $155,000 bail, but prosecutors on Monday argued that the case merited a higher bail of $300,000.

“Not only did Mr. Lockhart post offensive, illegal child pornography, but the sheer volume merits increased bail,” Assistant District Attorney Adam Maldonado said.

In addition to the images and videos, Maldonado said Lockhart’s electronic files also included stories about children being raped, information on how to do it and conversations with others about exploiting children.

Defense attorney Charles Smith said Lockhart has no prior criminal record and despite the charges has led “an exemplary life.”

Smith described Lockhart as the child of a single mother who had worked his way through the Yale School of Medicine and spent two years in the Peace Corps. He described him as an “intern” at UCSF and argued that he was not personally wealthy.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon kept bail set at $155,000, but said she would be open to prosecutors filing a formal motion.

As a condition of his release, Lockhart is not allowed to use the internet, have contact with children or set foot on the UCSF campus, where he has been suspended from his position.

He is scheduled to return to court on June 21 for a pre-hearing conference.

Police last week said Lockhart’s arrest was the result of an investigation that began in March of an individual who was uploading and trading child pornography.

The investigation found that Lockhart was allegedly using his employer’s Wi-Fi network to upload child pornography.

Anyone who has been victimized or had suspicious contact with the suspects is asked to contact the Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at (415) 558-5500.

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