A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday (July 13) found Sherneskie Bell guilty as charged of possession of pornography involving juveniles under age 13.
Bell, 62, of Kenner, downloaded about 2,700 images, videos and GIFs to his mobile phone over a period of months in 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office concluded. The images included children as young as 3 years old.
The Kenner Police Department opened the investigation of Bell in October 2018, following an argument he had with his teenage girlfriend after she heard that he had nude photographs of her on his mobile phone.
She fled to her home with the phone, unlocked it and discovered the pornographic images involving juveniles. Her sister promptly brought the phone to the Kenner Police Department.
Detectives also found a notebook in his apartment in which he listed pornographic websites and search terms for search engines. Bell wrote of marrying girls as young as 12 years old.
In testimony on Wednesday, Bell told jurors that his girlfriend stole his mobile phone and downloaded the pornographic images to frame him. He also asserted that his coworkers sometimes used his phone. Bell also suggested that his girlfriend and her sister manipulated data in his mobile phone to show the images were downloaded over a period of months.
In rebuttal, the prosecution team provided expert testimony from the Sheriff’s Office’s Digital Forensic Unit, showing that it would have been impossible for Bell’s ex-girlfriend to have the expertise to manipulate the download dates in a matter of hours to show the images were obtained over a period of months.
The jury, which was seated on Tuesday, deliberated about 45 minutes in reaching its unanimous verdict. Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Bell on Aug. 10.
Assistant District Attorneys Blaine Moncrief and Lynn Schiffman prosecuted the case.