BY JIM DOOLEY – Accused Big Island child molester and pornographer John R. Tucker appeared briefly in federal court on Thursday before Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren as new details of the case against him were revealed by the FBI.
Wearing a gray t-shirt, casual pants and handcuffs, Tucker said through his lawyer that he preferred to remain in custody and waived his right to seek release on bail.
Tucker was apprehended this week after the FBI sought public assistance in identifying a man depicted in Internet images of child molestation.
Within hours of the FBI’s request for help, “several callers identified the individual as John Tucker of Pahoa, Hawaii,” Special Agent Ethan Cumming said in court papers filed today.
Cumming said he and another agent went to the Big Island and located two children, a 10-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl, who appeared to be the same children shown with Tucker in child pornography images.
The two children were interviewed by state authorities yesterday, “identified themselves in the pictures and said the male depicted in the pictures was Tucker,” Cumming said in an affidavit.
The children said the acts shown in the pictures occurred in Tucker’s house in Pahoa, according to Cumming.
“The pictures show an adult male slouching in a chair while being orally copulated by the minors,” the affidavit said.
During a search of the residence, the agents found a computer containing “child pornography images, at least one of which depicted one of the aforementioned children engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” Cumming said in his affidavit.
Tucker has been charged with one count of the production and interstate transportation of child pornography. Another count alleges that Tucker illegally possessed child pornography.
A preliminary hearing in the case was set for October 25.
Tucker was represented by Big Island attorney Brian De Lima. The case is being prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Larry Tong.
Tucker, 56, and his wife, Petra Wiesenbauer, run the Hale Makamae Bed and Breakfast in Pahoa.
According to their business web site, Wiesenbauer is from Germany and Tucker is from the East Coast. They said they moved back to Hawaii in 1997 and have lived on the Big Island since 1999. On their web site, the couple states: “Feel welcome in our warm family environment – we love children.”
Cumming’s affidavit said the investigation of Tucker began after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children “received several digital images” of an adult male engaging in sexual acts with minors.
One image showed a 2008-2009 Big Island telephone directory in the background, he said.
According to Cumming, another investigation in Arizona involved other images of the same children.
The FBI issued a press release October 9 requesting public assistance in identifying the man in he pictures.
Within a day, Tucker had been identified and arrested.