On June 13, we reported that Chicago youth basketball coach and agent to professional basketball players, Brad Ames, was charged with four counts of producing child pornography, one count of conspiracy to produce same and one count of knowingly receiving child pornography. Earlier today, Ames had his arraignment before the U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Sports Agent Blog was able to obtain a first-hand account from an individual present at the arraignment. The individual explained that the Priority Sports basketball agent plead not guilty after being informed of all charges made against him. [Update: Priority Sports has informed us that Brad Ames is no longer an employee of the company; he resigned last Friday and is no longer associated with Priority Sports in any form or manner.]
The prosecution sought to detain Ames and claimed that detainment should be presumed with the type of charges at issue. It argued that the nature of the charges against Ames was evidence enough to define his character and that analysis of the charges indicates that Ames is a danger to society.
The prosecution further claims to have 5,000 email transmissions between Ames and a co-conspirator, with many said to be graphic and one containing an attached picture.
Ames rebutted the prosecution’s arguments and claimed that he had known of an investigation concerning the charges for a total of two years. Despite knowledge of same, Ames left the U.S. on numerous occasions for business and returned each time to show that there is no risk of flight. Additionally, Ames’ counsel noted that he had regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous and psychological therapy.
Ames cited to his deep Chicago roots and his lack of drinking or taking drugs in the recent past (other than a slip up a couple weeks ago when he self-reported smoking marijuana) and that he has committed no crimes during the investigation.
Ames was not detained at any point in time in the past two years, and the defense used that to its advantage.
The judge ruled that the prosecution cannot simply use the charges against Ames as proof of his character, interviewed Ames’ mother, and ruled against detaining Ames. However, Ames is required to give up his passport, be monitored at home, is subject to a $100,000 bond (guaranteed by his mother), relinquish his gun card and cease taking any drugs or consuming alcohol.
Ames is also precluded from having a computer at his residence and prohibited from having contact with witnesses and victims of the alleged acts.
Ames voluntarily appeared at the arraignment. A status hearing has been scheduled for July 12.