Photographers plead innocent to sexual exploitation charges

Two photographers arrested for allegedly taking photos of topless teen-age girls at a Star Shots studio at SeaTac Mall have pleaded innocent to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

David C. Brown, who was charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, was arraigned in King County Superior Court on Feb. 21. James C. Dekluyver, charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, was arraigned Monday.

Both men posted bail and are not in custody, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the county prosecuting attorney.

Since Federal Way Police announced the men had been arrested Feb. 12, two more girls have come forward, according to Lt. Connie Shupp.

Police said they have confirmed one of the girls was photographed in an explicit manner, though the second girl appears to have been indirectly involved.

Shupp said police are considering additional charges of sexual exploitation of a minor following the discovery of the alleged incidents involving other girls, but they haven’t sent the recommendation to prosecutors yet.

Ultimately, the prosecutor’s office will decide whether to add the charges.

The two men were arrested Feb. 7 after the parents of a friend of one of the girls found explicit pictures and called police.

During the investigation, police discovered that five girls between the ages of 14 and 15 were photographed without their clothes.

One of the girls, a 15-year-old Kilo Junior High student, told police Dekluyver offered to give her free pictures if she flashed him, according to charging papers.

The girl told police she agreed and went back several times, bringing friends for free pictures, according to charging papers. As time went on, Dekluyver allegedly asked the girls to take off their shirts and then their pants.

Dekluyver told police that Brown acted as a look-out during the photo sessions and sometimes stood in front of photo printing machines so customers wouldn’t see the pictures, according to charging papers.

Brown denied involvement in the alleged scheme.

The men are no longer employed by Star Shots.

According to authorities, Dekluyver knew the girls were 14 and 15 years old, and that he destroyed the photos so he wouldn’t get caught with evidence.

Court hearings are scheduled for March 7 for Brown and March 14 for Dekluyver.

If Dekluyver is convicted, he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison. Brown’s possible sentence wasn’t revealed.

According to charging papers, Dekluyver told the court he was on probation in Tacoma when he took pictures of the girls, while Brown has two prior drug-related convictions from 1996.

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