Gay rights advocate accused of child pornography charges back in court

The gay rights advocate and former member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission charged with possession and distribution of child pornography will be back in court Tuesday, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Larry Brinkin, 66, is charged with six felony counts related to child pornography. He plead not guilty to the charges in September and has been out of custody on $240,000 bail.

He was arrested in June after an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department discovered a disturbing email thread from AOL. The emails were exchanged between a Los Angeles-based user and zack3737@aol.com, which authorities linked to Brinkin's IP address.

In August, San Francisco police seized Brinkin's computer, which they said contained “dozens” of child pornography images.

He is alleged to have sent photos via email of toddlers engaging in sex acts with men with shocking commentary such as “I loved especially the [expletive] 2 year old getting nailed.”

The charges came as a shock to many of Brinkin's supporters within the LGBT community. Former Castro-area Supervisor Bevan Dufty said around the time of Brinkin's arrest that he was “very sad” to hear the allegations.

“Larry accomplished a great deal working for The City, advancing LGBT rights and the Equal Benefits Ordinance,” he said.

Brinkin was known for his 22-year career on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. In 1982, he was the first to use the term “domestic partner” in a lawsuit filed against and employer that would not grant a bereavement leave of work after a partner died. Although Brinkin lost the case, some city officials said he “laid the foundation for marriage equality.”

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday in Department 20 at the Hall of Justice.

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