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Currituck man, 63, facing charges of distributing, possessing child porn

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Bruce Norman Graser

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CURRITUCK – A 63-year-old Currituck County man is facing multiple charges of felony sexual exploitation of minors, allegedly in connection with distributing and possessing child pornography, court records state.

Bruce Norman Graser, of the 200 block of Summit Farms Trail, turned himself in at the Currituck Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 26, three days after a Currituck grand jury charged him with nine counts of second-degree and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

The indictments state the offenses occurred between Aug. 13, 2014, and Sept. 11, 2014, with Graser distributing images or video to a person who turned out to be an N.C. State Bureau of Investigation special agent. Court records state Graser works in Virginia as an information technology technician.

Graser's private legal counsel is attorney H.P. Williams Jr. of Elizabeth City.

A Currituck sheriff’s spokeswoman said Graser is free in lieu of reduced bonds of $60,000, secured, and $210,000, unsecured. Graser’s bond had originally been set at $270,000, secured, by a Currituck magistrate.

The bond amount was reduced in an order Superior Court Judge Walter Godwin signed on Oct. 31. Godwin handed down the order after a hearing in Pasquotank County Superior Court. According to court papers, Williams argued Graser's original bond was wrongly set and noted the allegations against his client weren't processed through the court system into criminal charges for more than three years.

Williams argued the SBI special agent in the case, J.K. Hickman, obtained a search warrant of Graser's residence from a Currituck magistrate in late September 2014 and seized numerous items. Williams claimed Graser, at the time, was told a case against him would be presented to a Currituck grand jury.

Additionally, Williams said state law specifies a magistrate, when considering whether to approve a pre-trial release, must decide whether there’s no reasonable assurance the accused person will appear in court. Also, Williams said the magistrate must decide whether there's reason to believe the accused person, if granted a pre-trial release, will endanger others, intimidate potential witnesses, give false statements under oath or destroy evidence.

A charge of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, that is, distributing child pornography, is considered a Class E felony in North Carolina. Felony offenses are from Classes A-I, with a Class A offense being the most serious. Williams argued the senior resident Superior Court judge’s bond policy suggests bond for a Class E felony to be in the range of $5,000-$40,000, secured. He asked that Graser’s bond to be set at $9,000, secured, and for an unsecured bond to be set as the court may require.

Williams said Graser has been a Currituck County resident at least four years, is married and works in Virginia Beach, has no prior record of criminal convictions and doesn’t pose a risk of failing to appear in court.

Godwin set the reduced bond and imposed three conditions: That Graser can’t possess any electronic device, including a cell phone, with a connection to the Internet; Graser, while at his information technology job in Virginia, can’t use a computer connected to the Internet; Graser also has to remain at his residence, except when going to and from work, meetings with his lawyer and for appearances in court.

In imposing the conditions, Godwin noted if Graser violates any of them, Graser will be immediately arrested and jailed without bond.

District Attorney Andrew Womble couldn’t be reached for this story.

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