- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A former Seat Pleasant police chief was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison yesterday for taking pornographic pictures of a teen who was part of a police-mentoring program.

Saying it was a “sad” case, U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams imposed the sentence on Ronald C. Forrest for crimes he committed in 2001 when he was head of the small Prince George’s County town police department.

Forrest, 40, was convicted in May in federal court in Greenbelt of persuading the teen, now 16, to pose for lewd photos. A jury also found him guilty of possession of child pornography.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Salem said Forrest violated the trust of the teen who was part of Seat Pleasant’s Junior Police Program. Mr. Salem said Forrest used his position to coerce the boy, who saw him as a father figure.

“That is shameful, disgraceful and is unforgivable,” the prosecutor said during the short hearing.

Forrest, wearing an oversized green prison jumpsuit, declined to say anything when Judge Williams asked him whether he wanted to speak. He did not testify in his defense during the trial, but his attorney argued that he had been framed by a jilted ex-fiancee.

Joseph Forrest said his younger brother’s case would be appealed. He noted that no other victims came forward to accuse Forrest of abuse and suggested that prosecutors had bungled the case.

“There are a lot of things about this case that don’t make sense,” he said.

Forrest was arrested in September after the former fiancee, Deidre Hackey, gave the FBI a photo album containing child pornography that she took from Forrest’s home in Clinton.

The boy testified at Forrest’s trial that the police chief paid him from $50 to $80 to take off his clothes and be photographed. He said Forrest also made sexual advances toward him.

Forrest’s attorney, Atiq Ahmed, said Miss Hackey planted the photos in the album and gave it to authorities because she was mad that he cut off their engagement.

Mr. Ahmed said Forrest took the photos of the boy to help him with a lawsuit he was planning against the District. The boy was among a group of schoolchildren who were strip-searched during a visit to the D.C. Jail in 2001.

Forrest was fired from the police force shortly after his arrest. He will have to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.

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