file photo of attorneys
AUBURN – Philip Gerdes of Auburn was found guilty of possession of child pornography and intentional child abuse following a Nemaha County bench trial Wednesday.
Gerdes’ attorney Keith Kollasch said the state failed to prove intent and said the 41-year-old Gerdes does not have the sophistication to have made and trimmed videos on his smart phone.
Judge Julie Smith said she does not believe that Gerdes doesn’t know how to use his phone to take videos and said he endangered the victim on four felony counts.
She described some of Gerdes’ behavior as “very strange to say the least,” but stopped short of an explanation offered by Deputy Nemaha County Attorney Angelo Ligouri, who said Gerdes was “grooming” the victim to get to a point where is able to get her to have sex.
Ligouri said Gerdes took advantage of the victim and traumatized her. He pointed to an example where Gerdes was playing truth or dare and suggested a dare for the teen that defensive attorney Keith Kollasch called “outrageous.”
Ligouri: “The fact that he could do that so confidently is evidence of the facts in this case.”
The judge sentencing on Oct. 6.