NAMBLA Fantasy

Republican activist Jeff Nielsen says he didnt know the object of his affection was a 14-year-old boy

* * *

If you can pass on to Jeff, who is aware I'm looking at the case, that he should talk to me even if it's off the record. I'd like to know his version. I haven't yet decided if I'll write about the matter, but if he doesn't talk to me, then I'll have to rely almost exclusively on police, prosecutors and witness reports—all of which don't hold him in a favorable light.

—An e-mail from Moxley to a close Nielsen friend, Nov. 26, 2004


As you know, ANY publicity prior to trial could potentially hurt him. So in reality, like Scott Peterson, his lawyers are probably telling him to shut up about it. I really feel for the guy . . . This problem for Jeff—beyond his own interest in "younger guys" really—is his lifelong problem facing reality. That is, admitting his homosexuality.

—Nielsen's friend, Nov. 26, 2004

Regarding possible pretrial publicity: I don't know Jeff, so I don't have any personal interest in the case and, frankly, I don't know what I'm going to write yet. But it'd be difficult to write anything he'd view as sympathetic if he doesn't share with me his version, his thoughts, his concerns—all of which I'm open to considering without animosity.

—Moxley, Nov. 26, 2004

I quite frankly don't think a story is warranted here. If one is written, it really is proof in the pudding that your editorial board has questionable ethics and is more interested in salacious B.S. than real news.

—Nielsen friend, Dec. 6, 2004


Please remind Jeff that he still has an opportunity to talk to me on background before I write.

—Moxley, April 7, 2005


With all due respect, WHY IS THIS NEWSWORTHY FOR YOU???

—Nielsen friend, April 7, 2005


If the charges are true, you'd still think the case should be off-limits to press coverage?

—Moxley, April 7, 2005


But see, Scott, I think that you may not just want to report on this incident. It seems based on previous writings and the OC Weekly being what it is, there is a threat here of you writing an EXPOSÉ and including some big innuendos about Nielsen and the GOP, Baugh, Rackauckas, etc., rather than just reporting that a young attorney molested a kid.

—Nielsen friend, April 7, 2005


I'm really surprised that Jeff, who is undoubtedly very smart and also well-versed in journalism, wouldn't want to take advantage of my repeated offers to talk on or off the record. I've shown no hostility and I've been patient, following the case for more than a year without writing a word. But ultimately it's going to be difficult to fully tell someone's side of the story when they won't share it.

—Moxley, April 8, 2005


I understand you e-mailed Jeff interview requests? Where did you get his e-mail address? . . . Why is it newsworthy in the first place? Ramification of writing something will serve WHAT PURPOSE?

—Nielsen friend, April 19, 2005


You're actually pissed that I, a reporter, asked a criminal defendant, Jeff, for an interview before I write about an ongoing felony case?

—Moxley, April 19, 2005


Taking a pass on this "story" would be a personal favor to me because I don't want to see anything severe happen to Jeff with or without government help—if you get my drift—but that is your call.

—Nielsen friend, April 20, 2005

* * *

At the Sept. 6 preliminary hearing, Nielsen defense lawyer Meyer, who has also represented ex-Orange County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline on unresolved child pornography charges, tried to undermine the prosecution's case. First, he attacked the credibility of the boy, quizzing Officer Storey about the 14-year-old's alleged inconsistent statements and his "motivation" to be with Nielsen. Storey said Doe admitted he was struggling with his sexuality. Meyer has also suggested that the relationship should be blamed on Doe. After all, the lawyer noted, it was the high school freshman who shouldn't have been visiting an adult personals website.

But the most heated part of the preliminary hearing had to do with the "400-plus" child porn images found at Nielsen's home. Despite more than half a dozen objections by Meyer to enter that information into the record, prosecutor Hess successfully showed the judge a sampling of the photos. Hess asked Thomas Avery, a computer forensics specialist with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, to describe just one of the pictures.

"It is of a young—it appears to be male—that is laying on his back with his legs up on his chest, arms holding his legs, while what appears to be an older male with an erect penis in contact with the genital area of the young male," said Avery.

Meyer fired back, asking why Avery was so sure the depicted young male was a minor.

"Based on the facial characteristics, he appears to be young," said the sheriff's department official. "In the picture you can't see any pubic hair on the genital area, which would mean a young age. He appears to be a child."

Meyer then asked Avery if he was aware of "digital manipulation" or "morphing" of photos. He said yes, but highly doubted that Nielsen's photos had been altered. "They don't appear to be morphed to me," said Avery, who described "the majority" of Nielsen's photo collection involved minor boys in sexual positions.

Meyer sat down.

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