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Archive for Saturday, September 2, 2006

Theater owner gets 10 years

September 2, 2006

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A federal judge sentenced an Ottawa movie theater owner on Friday to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Richard Dimoush, 41, had pleaded guilty in March after admitting that a female employee at the Plaza Theater found a hidden camera in the women's restroom, prompting a police investigation.

The investigation, which centered around the theater, his house and vehicle, turned up several items of child porn, including a video he had made of himself having sex with a minor, according to U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren's office.

Prosecutors argued for the 10-year sentence even though Dimoush said the camera in the restroom was installed for cleaning purposes.

"The defendant maintains that position to this very day, even in light of the numerous video recordings of women taking down their pants and using the toilet," prosecutors said in a court filing. "Furthermore, the defendant did not likewise install a similar camera in the men's bathroom to ensure that it was cleaned properly."

The tapes and disks recovered were analyzed at an FBI crime lab.

According to court records, before the sentencing, Dimoush and his defense attorneys had submitted a report from a psychologist that said Dimoush was not a sexual predator or pedophile.

But prosecutors argued in a court filing that Dimoush acted as a sexual predator by not only installing the video cameras in the restroom, but also in other instances when he recorded minors using a tanning bed. Prosecutors also said he videotaped his sexual relations with a girl who was 15 and later turned 16, and he followed her to college when she moved and videotaped her outside her apartment building.

"The fact that the defendant stood before the court at the time of this guilty plea, and indicated that he had the camera in the woman's restroom at the theater to ensure its cleanliness, is an indication of how honest the court should expect the defendant to be when it comes to his sexual activities," according to prosecutors in the court filing.

Dimoush's attorneys, John and Kathleen Ambrosio, of Topeka, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas City ordered Dimoush taken into custody after Friday's sentencing. The Federal Bureau of Prisons will determine where to send him, according to a statement from Melgren's office.

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