Crime

Already convicted of child porn, ex-soldier faces molestation charge

Sentenced last month in federal court to 30 years in prison for child pornography, former Fort Benning soldier Branden Bounds was booked Wednesday into the Muscogee County Jail.

The reason that Bounds, 29, returned from federal custody to the jail is because he still has pending state charges against him. Bounds faces one count of aggravated child molestation and seven counts of sexual exploitation of children, jail records state.

The state and federal charges stem from the same allegations involving a 5-year-old girl.

State prosecutors haven't decided on how to proceed on their accusations.

"My plan is to discuss with the (victim's) family what they would like to see in the state case, in light that he did get 30 years in the federal case," said LaRae Moore, senior assistant district attorney.

Attorney Bill Kirby represented Bounds in the federal case. Kirby has since died, and Moore said she didn't have the opportunity to speak with him about the state charges.

Attorney Will Kirby, Bill Kirby's son, said he would represent Bounds on the state charges if Bounds wanted him.

Authorities learned about the abuse in February 2010 when the girl was staying with her father in Florida. He grew alarmed by something his daughter said and asked the girl's mother to look into the allegations.

The mother lived with Bounds at that time. She moved out when the allegations surfaced and handed over Bounds' computer and a hard drive to police.

Police determined the girl had been molested, forced to watch child pornography and participate in videos Bounds made. A plea agreement says the abuse happened while the mother was away.

Bounds pleaded guilty in August to one count of producing child pornography. He faced a minimum 15-year sentence but got the maximum allowed at his February sentencing. Bounds also was ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution for the victim's continuing counseling.

Attorney Bill Mason is representing Bounds in his appeal. Bounds is challenging the $200,000 restitution. Other challenges are possible.

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