One image of child pornography could mean ten years behind bars for the former Sioux Falls fire chief. Jim Sideras changed his plea to guilty Monday morning. He pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography.
This agreement means the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney will dismiss nine other charges against Sideras and he won’t have to go to trial. Monday’s guilty plea focuses on one image investigators found on a Samsung laptop Sideras admitted to owning. Following Monday’s hearing, Sideras’s attorney had no comment. Sideras told a judge he understood the consequences of pleading guilty.
“At this point, we’re pleased the defendant has taken responsibility for his actions and we look forward to the conclusion of this case,” Aaron McGowan, Minnehaha County State’s Attorney, said.
Sideras admitted to having an image of a pre-pubescent girl between the ages of 11 and 13, lying on a bed and exposing her genitals. This is tied to a Samsung laptop found in Sideras’s home. Investigators found the image on a website and a Yahoo chat. The plea is a big shift from two weeks ago, when Sideras’s attorney said a former co-worker hacked into his client’s computers.
“This office takes crimes against children very seriously. We’ll have additional comments at the time of sentencing,” McGowan said.
McGowan says the court will give Sideras his sentence after a pre-sentencing investigation report and a psychosexual evaluation on Sideras.