Source AP ©

Prosecutor caught in 'Dateline NBC' sting collected child porn

A prosecutor who shot himself dead last year when police arrived at his home as part a sting arranged by television's "Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator" had collected child pornography, authorities said.

When they knocked on the door of his home last November, police planned to arrest Louis "Bill" Conradt Jr., 57, on a warrant accusing him of soliciting sex from a minor. They said Conradt, the former Kaufman County district attorney, had online sexual chats with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy.

Conradt was targeted in a sting arranged by "Dateline" and the activist group Perverted Justice, whose staff pose as boys and girls online and arranged to meet men.

The state investigation into Conradt's death found evidence of the online graphic chats, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report released to The Dallas Morning News.

Three laptops, a cell phone and several computer disks found in the home also "all contained pornographic material (and) some included child pornography," according to the state's investigation.

Conradt's sister, Patricia Conradt, has sued NBC Universal Inc. for $105 million (EUR70.7 million), accusing it of taking over police duties and then failing to protect her brother. She said NBC was "concerned more with its own profits than with pedophilia."

NBC Universal has said it will defend itself vigorously and believes the lawsuit has no merit. Its motion to dismiss the case is pending.

Buck Wood, Patricia Conradt's husband, said Monday that investigators told him the suspect photos may not be child pornography.

"There was some pornography on there with persons that you could not ascertain whether they were underage or not," said Wood, an attorney who is advising his wife in the civil suit.

"It's certainly something that you couldn't prosecute on, and I would assume (Conradt) wouldn't have thought it was child pornography."

Wood said the alleged pornography would have no effect on the lawsuit against NBC.