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Child porn charges filed, dropped against music teacher

Troy Fisher, a well-known music teacher and former theater director in Olympia, faced trial for charges of possession of child porn.

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OLYMPIA — A music teacher who says he was wrongfully accused of possessing child pornography claims he has evidence to prove his innocence.

BQn6y1UCMAAhvqkTroy Fisher says he is now going to sue the city and police department that arrested him last year.

Fisher joined dozens of friends and former students at Olympia’s Percival Landing Thursday night.

“I want to tell the truth, and I want to tell it as broadly and loudly as the untruths about me were told,” he said.

Last year, Fisher was charged with possession of child pornography. In February, those charges were dropped because it was determined police did not have the legal right to search his computer.

But Fisher still wanted to prove his innocence, so he sought out an independent computer forensics expert. The report released by Randall Karstetter on Thursday says Fisher did not download the images found on his computer. He says they were in a non-accessible space on his hard drive.

“There’s lots of malware, there’s lots of viruses, things come on our computer that we’re unaware of,” Fisher said.

Karstetter says around 20 percent of the pornography cases he investigates end up with charges being dropped or people being acquitted. He thinks it’s because many officers aren’t trained properly when it comes to computer searches.

“We need to demand that police are provided with all the resources and training they can get in order to prevent situations like Troy’s from happening again,” he said.

Kathryn Wyatt, whose son was one of Fisher’s students, agrees.

“I’m hugely disappointed that our law enforcement allowed something like that to happen,” she said, adding that she never doubted his innocence.

“I absolutely knew all along and so did hundreds of others. We have been waiting until this day when there was math and science to say it along with us.”

Fisher says he is going to file suit against the city of Olympia and its police department.

“They violated my civil liberties that are provided to me by the Constitution of the United States of America, and I feel a certain responsibility since this happened to make sure there’s some accountability.”

Q13 Fox News reached out to the city of Olympia about the forensics report and the possibility of a lawsuit, but did not hear back.

fisherTACOMA — Child pornography charges were dismissed Monday against the former artistic director of Olympia’s Capital Playhouse after a judge decided the information used to charge him was garnered by an illegal computer search.

Troy Fisher, 52, was charged with possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct in Thurston County Court, but a judge ruled the search of Fisher’s computer was illegal Monday.

The charges stem from when Fisher, a longtime employee of Capital Playhouse who frequently came into contact with children, was reported missing by his family on July 23. The Olympia Police Department went to his home in an attempt to locate him and analyzed his phone and computer. A detective allegedly found a total of 151 images of child pornography images on his computer, including photos of boys and girls from the ages of 10-14 engaged in sexual activity.

Fisher called 911 from a payphone on July 25. Paramedics responded to find him dehydrated and disoriented, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said. He later told paramedics that he had no memory of the prior 48 hours. He said he couldn’t sleep on the night of July 23 and went to his car to listen to music so he wouldn’t wake his niece and nephew, who were staying with him. Next thing he knew, officials said, he woke up in a bush two days later.

Fisher admitted to having pornographic images on his computer, prosecutors said, but claimed any child pornography was unintentional. He also admitted to viewing pornography on two computers at Capital Playhouse, and detectives allegedly found three images involving minors on computers at the nonprofit playhouse.

fisherOLYMPIA — Troy Fisher, a well-known music teacher and former theater director in Olympia, is facing trial for charges of possession of child porn. But this week, in a surprise ruling, a judge allowed Fisher to resume private music lessons with kids under adult supervision.

Fisher says he is innocent of the charges and that  he has no knowledge of child porn that was allegedly found on his home computer and on his work computer at Olympia’s Capital Playhouse. He vows to fight the charges.

“His position is that any child pornography that may be on his computer was completely inadvertently and unintentionally downloaded or ended up there, so he was never actively looking for child porn or looking at child pornography,” Fisher’s attorney, Paul Strophy, said.

Strophy is not the only one who believes in Fisher’s innocence. Dozens of parents and their children do, too.

“I am completely confident in Troy’s innocence. We are very blessed in this community to have him at the Playhouse and in ‘Kids in Koncert’ and in all of our lives,” parent Andrea DeShaye said.

Kids in Koncert, the Northwest’s premier youth choir, was founded in 1996 by Fisher and Capital Playhouse.

“As parents, we’re here supporting him because our kids want us to,” parent Suzy Scuderi said.

Scuderi has three children who have studied under Fisher. She is one of nearly 200 who stand behind Fisher — in the community and in court.

She and others are going so far as to sign affidavits asking the court to allow Fisher to resume private lessons with their children.

“My oldest, who has had the most experience with Troy, just said, ‘I don’t buy it.’ I don’t believe it,  I don’t buy it and I’m not saying I don’t believe it because in my subconscious I don’t want to. It doesn’t add up,” Scuderi said.

She added that parents are also relying on their instincts and gut feelings.

“None of us have any question in our hearts, any searching back over our minds, … that would make us feel differently or think any differently about Troy,” Scuderi said. “Anybody can be accused of something of that magnitude. It doesn’t mean that everyone has done something.”

Police first searched Fisher’s home computer last summer after his family reported him missing. Police said they were searching for clues on his home computer that might lead to his whereabouts. During the search, police said they found child pornography on his home computer and more on his work computer.

Fisher’s attorney said his home computer was searched without a warrant and he is asking the alleged evidence be thrown out.

A ruling is expected at the end of February.

TACOMA — The former artistic director of Olympia’s Capital Playhouse was charged with 14 counts of possessing child pornography Tuesday after a forensics team looked through his home computer to find clues about his whereabouts.

Troy Fisher, 52, is being charged with possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct in Pierce County Court. He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 19.

The charges stem from when Fisher, a longtime employee of Capital Playhouse who frequently came into contact with children, was reported missing by his family on July 23. The Olympia Police Department went to his home in an attempt to locate him, and analyzed his phone and computer. A detective allegedly found a total of 151 images of child pornography images on his computer, including photos of boys and girls from the ages of 10-14 engaged in sexual activity.

Fisher called 911 from a payphone on July 25. Paramedics responded to find him dehydrated and disoriented, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said. He later told paramedics that he had no memory of the prior 48 hours. He said he couldn’t sleep on the night of July 23 and went to his car to listen to music so he wouldn’t wake his niece and nephew, who were staying with him. Next thing he knew, officials said, he woke up in a bush two days later.

Fisher admitted to having pornographic images on his computer, prosecutors said, but claimed any child pornography was unintentional. He also admitted to viewing pornography on two computers at Capital Playhouse, and detectives allegedly found three images involving minors on computers at the non-profit playhouse.

Though Fisher is an Olympia resident, he is being tried in Pierce County at the request of the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office, which had an unnamed conflict with the case.

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