Child pornography charges against Conrad dropped

By Whitney

Gronski-Buffa

Pioneer Staff Writer

REED CITY — After being arrested on charges of child pornography and operating a medical marijuana dispensary from his home, a Reed City man has been sentenced to no jail time for a completely different crime.

Sean Conrad, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was sentenced on Monday to one year probation and a 120 hours of community service hours. He also will be responsible for court fees and $565 fines.

Calls made to Osceola County Assistant Prosecutor Andy LePres were not returned.

Conrad was arrested on Feb. 24 on four felony charges of possession of child sexually abusive material after a four-month investigation into a tip Reed City Police received regarding Conrad’s possession of digital pornographic files. Reed City Police Chief Chuck Davis said investigators seized a computer and several DVDs containing explicit materials.

Child Protective Services removed Conrad’s children from his home and alerted police  to a marijuana grow room in the house. Conrad is a medical marijuana patient.

On March 20, Conrad was arrested again on a misdemeanor charge of operating a marijuana dispensary within 500 feet of a residential district, a violation of a city ordinance. Conrad was in possession of marijuana plants at his home, but Davis declined to say how many.

Although Conrad still faces the dispensary charge, the child porn charges were dismissed. Conrad’s attorney, Jesse Williams, said the plea is an indication of problems in the initial police investigation.

“The plea reflects the diligence of the investigation, or lack thereof,” Williams said. “Oftentimes in state cases, there’s not enough time put into the investigation, so unfortunately, the citizen bears the burden to do their own investigation.”

Conrad declined to comment on the case, except to say he felt his life had been ruined by the allegations.

Since Conrad will not serve any time in jail, Williams said he hopes his client will be able to return to a normal life.

“(This case) was somewhat exaggerated in the media, especially the television media, where it was really overblown,” Williams said. “People shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?”