Kevin Stewart McMahan

A federal magistrate Tuesday agreed to release a freelance TV producer arrested at the Salt Lake City International Airport after child pornography was found in his luggage.

Kevin Stewart McMahan, 49, is charged in federal court with one count each of possession and transportation of child pornography.

Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner agreed to release McMahan under strict guidelines, commenting that he does not "think flight is a particularly serious risk."

Realizing his job required extensive traveling, Warner said McMahan could travel outside his home state of California for work-related purposes only but could not travel outside the United States. The judge also ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device, preferably one with a GPS locator if available. And before he travels out of state, he must give authorities a week's notice with a detailed itinerary.

McMahan, a freelance remote broadcast operations producer and technical manager who has worked with events such as the NBA playoffs for ESPN and ABC, is also required to use a computer for his job. Warner said he would allow McMahan to purchase a new lap top for his work, but that it would be subjected to random inspections and could be used only for work-related purposes.

Furthermore, Warner forbid McMahan from using any other computers in his home, including two belonging to his teenage sons, and ordered those computers to be password protected.

Although the defense felt McMahan could still be able to get work, Warner noted it may be difficult in light of his arrest and the charges he's facing. The judge sternly warned McMahan that regardless, he had to find work.

"If you can't find employment in your field because of this arrest, get yourself a job," Warner said. "Rather than sitting in jail (McMahan) might prefer flipping burgers."

McMahan wore a blue jump suit from the Salt Lake County Jail and had his hands and feet shackled. He answered the judge in a clear, audible voice when questioned and appeared to be in fairly good spirits considering the situation.

McMahan smiled at his elderly mother who traveled from Riggins, Idaho, to attend the hearing. His mother declined to make any comments after the hearing.

Lynn Donaldson, McMahan's assigned federal defense lawyer, did not believe McMahan is a flight risk, pointing to several comments from siblings and co-workers who described him as being very reliable. "When he's asked to do something he does it," he said.

An initial hearing in the case was scheduled Thursday. McMahan was expected to waive his appearance and have his attorney enter a not guilty plea.


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