Child pornography charges for radio talk-show host

Popular San Francisco radio talk-show host Bernie Ward, a former priest known for his brash style and liberal politics, was indicted on federal charges of child pornography Thursday.

Ward pleaded not guilty to two countsof using the Internet to send and receive child pornography, his attorney confirmed.

Ward’s attorney, Doron Weinberg, said the indictment was issued in late October but prosecutors agreed to keep it sealed while Ward conducted his annual Thanksgiving Charities drive, which according to KGO raises thousands of dollars annually for hungry and homeless people in the Bay Area.

His employer, KGO Operations Director Jack Swanson, issued a statement expressing shock at the charges.

“Bernie Ward has been a valued, longtime employee of KGO Radio. We were just recently made aware of these serious charges and are surprised and concerned by their nature,” Swanson stated. He refused further comment, citing the matter’s pending legal status.

A substitute host will take over Ward’s nighttime, politics-focused show as well as his Sunday morning Godtalk broadcast. Ward, the self-professed “Lion of the Left,” lives in San Francisco with his wife and four children.

Weinberg, said the case stems from an “error of judgment” Ward made when he spent a few days in 2004 looking at pornographic images and exchanging images with other adults when doing research for a book on hypocrisy.

“It’s really tragic that the government has decided to prosecute him for a judgment he made as a journalist and to treat him as a child pornographer when he is not,” Weinberg said.

Weinberg is also the defense attorney for Dr. William Ayres, the once-famed child psychiatrist San Mateo County officials have charged with molesting several boys. He has also represented record producer and murder suspect Phil Spector.

Wire reports contributed to this story.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at the SF Dept. of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

A felled tree in San Francisco is pictured on Fillmore Street following a major storm that produced high winds and heavy rains on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philip Ford)
Extreme weather in California: Prolonged drought and record rain

By Soumya Karlamangla New York Times This week has been one for… Continue reading

Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistle-blower, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 5, 2021. Haugen said the Securities and Exchange Commission was the agency that she believed could rein in the company. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)
Facebook faces a public relations crisis. What about a legal one?

‘I filed with the SEC because Facebook lied to regulators and their investors’

Private schools in California are growing frustrated waiting for federal funds to be distributed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, pictured here at a San Francisco middle school, and the California Department of Education. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
For months, California private schools have been waiting for ‘emergency’ Covid aid

‘It feels like the carpet is being pulled out from under your feet’

Most Read