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Anchorage man pleads guilty to possession of child porn, sex abuse of minors

Jerzy Shedlock

An Anchorage man charged with possession and production of child pornography pleaded guilty to two felony counts Wednesday in Superior Court as part of a plea deal.

Kevin Dale Callander was charged in November with 13 felonies for the possession, production and distribution of child porn, as well as sexual abuse and exploitation of minors. The state added two more possession charges after examining more than 1,000 seized computer files. On Wednesday, he agreed to plead guilty to one second-degree sex abuse count and a consolidated child porn possession count.

The state agreed to drop all other charges. Despite the significant reduction of charges, Callander also faces a federal case stemming from the allegations.

Assistant attorney general Adam Alexander said the state ensured the plea covered the sexual abuse.

“It was very important (to the state) that he plead to the most serious conduct he was charged with,” the prosecutor said, adding the victims were abused in Alaska and Florida.

Private attorney Phil Shanahan is representing Callander, who 46 years of age and the father of five adult children, has no past criminal convictions. Callander appeared in court wearing orange jail scrubs and wire-rim glasses. He answered the judge’s yes and no questions but otherwise did not speak.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton noted the plea deal also barred the defense from arguing mitigators during sentencing or referring the case to a three-judge panel. The state also agreed not to present aggravators to potentially lengthen the defendant’s sentence.

Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor carries a sentence range of 5 to 15 years while the possession charge could mean an additional 2 to 12 years in jail. Alexander said the court will decide whether those convictions are served consecutively or concurrently.

Callander will be required to register for life as a sex offender.

Alexander said the state is sticking to the allegations of the initial charging document for sentencing purposes.

An undercover detective monitoring online networks and file downloads for child abuse material began investigating Callander in August, according to the charging document.

Anchorage Police Department Det. Mark Thomas tracked a computer source located in Anchorage that contained videos with underage girls ranging from 3 to 16 years old, the charges say.

Police followed the source to Callander’s Jewel Lake-area home. In October, a search warrant was served on the residence. Callander was home at the time, and he initially waived his Miranda rights but decided he needed a lawyer present when the questions kept coming.

According to an affidavit, at the end of Callander’s interview, the detective told the man the search was for child porn. Callander “made a loud gulping noise that could be heard on tape.”

Two computers were seized from the home. They each had separate names -- one for Callander and one for his wife. The latter yielded nothing suspect while Callander’s computer contained child pornography and software for downloading and sharing those materials. His computer also contained several videos showing himself and female victims around the home, the charges say.

APD Lt. Nancy Reeder, a spokeswoman for the department's Cyber Crimes Unit, said at the time of Callander’s arrest that authorities suspected he had inappropriate physical contact with children for decades.

Alexander said after the Wednesday change of plea hearing that videos of Callander abusing girls were found on a seized iPad. Those victims were abused in Alaska and Florida, he said. Police initially reported Callander may have other victims, but the state prosecutor decline to comment “on anything that may be pending.”

Sentencing for the state case is set for September 18.

Callander pleaded guilty to four federal charges in February. Sentencing in that case is set for Nov. 21 in Anchorage.