Anti-pornography crusader Newton C. Estes pleaded guilty Tuesday in 2nd District Court to trying to sexually abuse an 11-year-old girl and showing her a photo clipped from a pornographic magazine in his home.
Estes, 63, 372 E. Seventh North, Kaysville, faces a prison term of 5-years-to-life on the attempted sexual abuse of a child charge and 0-to-5 years in prison on the charge of dealing in material harmful to a minor.Judge Douglas L Cornaby set sentencing for Estes on July 19.
Estes made national news in 1982 when he slugged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White, who was in Salt Lake City to speak at a convention of the Utah State Bar.
Estes rushed the speakers' table where White was sitting and, as the television news cameras rolled, hit him three times in the head before being subdued. Estes said he did it to protest the Supreme Court's liberal rulings on pornography and school busing to achieve racial desegregation.
Estes was convicted more than a year later of assault, paid a $500 fine and spent 10 days in jail. He apologized later for the incident, saying it was not a proper way to gain a forum to air his views.
In the current case, Estes was originally charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony that carries a five-year-to-life term in addition to a minimum mandatory term of 5, 10 or 15 years.
He was also charged with showing harmful or pornographic material to a minor, a third-degree felony with a 0-to-5-year penalty.
In a plea bargain negotiated by his attorney, Steven Vanderlinden, Estes pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, still a first-degree felony, but without the minimum mandatory prison time.
On the pornographic materials charge, it was agreed that only one photo was shown to the girl, an 11-year-old neighbor Estes had hired to act as a housekeeper.
When Cornaby asked him if he knew it was against the law, Estes said he knew it was wrong, but didn't realize it is illegal. But further thought would have made him conclude it is illegal, Estes admitted.
According to court records, Estes showed the girl pornographic material starting last summer when she made weekly visits to his home to clean. In January, he asked her to assume some of the poses of the persons in the photos, according to court documents, and on the day he fondled her, paid her an extra $5.