Former fire captain’s hearing delayed |

Former fire captain’s hearing delayed

Isaac Brambila

SACRAMENTO — A court hearing for Mark McLeod Wygant, the former South Lake Tahoe fire captain accused of several child pornography offenses, was continued this week in federal court.

The hearing, which was previously set for Thursday, was moved to Aug. 20.

According to court documents, the continuance came after the federal prosecutor, Matthew Morris, and defense attorney Rachelle Barbour agreed on the delay because Barbour needed more time to review discovery. Additionally, she will be conducting defense investigations and discussing the case with her client.

Wygant was previously scheduled to appear in court March 27, but that hearing was also continued.

Wygant was taken into custody Jan. 29, after an FBI and South Lake Tahoe Police Department investigation concluded that a USB drive containing child pornography found at a South Lake Tahoe fire station locker belonged to him. He was initially arrested on a single charge of receiving child pornography, but that charge was later replaced with a six-count federal indictment.

He faces five counts of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of sexual exploitation of children. The charges are connected to events that occurred on or about Feb. 14, 2011, April 25, 2011, June 22, 2011, Jan. 2, 2012 and Feb. 9, 2012, when Wygant allegedly filmed a girl he was legally responsible for by placing an iPhone and other cameras in a bathroom to record the victim naked for sexual gratification.

Wygant presented his resignation to the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department about six days after his arrest. He was reportedly about to be fired when he presented his resignation.

If convicted, Wygant faces between 15 and 20 years in prison for each count and a fine for as much as $250,000. He is currently in federal custody in Sacramento.

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