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Former Danville Scout leader guilty in child porn case

Could face up to 10 years in federal prison

The former leader of a Cub Scout den in Danville charged with possessing child pornography will be sentenced in February after changing his plea to guilty in federal court Friday.

Michael Vawter of Danville was indicted in October by a federal grand jury on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jack Gillund said at the time of Vawter's indictment.

Vawter, who was 40 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to the second count, possessing child pornography; the first charge was deferred until his sentencing, Feb. 18. Typically, a defendant's criminal history is included in federal sentencing guidelines, meaning even if he is not convicted on the first and more serious charge, Vawter's conduct could be included for a potential increase in his sentence.

The possession charge has a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Vawter was arrested in March when police received an anonymous tip stating that he had child pornography on his work computer at California Coast Insurance Financial in San Ramon, according to police reports. The San Ramon Police Department obtained and served a search warrant for Vawter's work computer and his residence in Danville.

The local charges, which carried a potential sentence of three years, were dropped when the more serious federal charges were filed.

Deputy Contra Contra County District Attorney Jon Yamaguchi said at the time of Vawter's arrest that police found 187 pornographic videos on his computer.

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