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Christopher Wiltsee, 57, entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel's courtroom in San Jose.
Wiltsee, a Morgan Hill resident, no longer works for the federal government. In his plea, the engineer who worked at NASA Ames Research Center admitted to downloading child pornography and possessing more than 600 images, some of which were sadistic and masochistic in nature, U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Orisme Carminati confirmed in an e-mail. Wiltsee remains in federal custody.
NASA Ames spokesman Michael Mewhinney said he knew Wiltsee, but isn't sure how long he worked at Moffett Field.
"It's too bad," Mewhinney said. "I don't understand it."
Wiltsee's child pornography images were discovered on the government computer in June 2005 and he was indicted Sept. 26, 2007, prosecutors said. Mewhinney offered no further comment and referred calls to the Department of Justice.
Carminati declined to provide any details about the investigation by NASA's Office of the Inspector General. Wiltsee is scheduled to again appear in court on June 4 for sentencing. The maximum penalty for possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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