Details have emerged in the case of a 52-year-old Rancho Sahuarita man arrested in September on charges related to child pornography, including a photo of a child family member discovered on a cell phone.
Scott Higgins is facing 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in Pima County Superior Court.
When Sahuarita police officers served a search warrant at Higgins’ residence in September, they confiscated two computers, three cell phones, two tablets and 11 portable storage devices including flash drives and SD cards, according to a report.
Higgins told an investigator he “never thought having the questionable images were a big deal due to the images being so prevalent.” Higgins admitted to viewing images of adult males performing sex acts on prepubescent girls, according to a report.
Higgins told a detective that he “hoards” the images and “realizes child sexual abuse is wrong but he believes there is no harm in it.” He also said he has a “fantasy and reality state of mind” and in the real world doesn’t view children as he does in digital images, according to a report.
Detectives located an image on an old cell phone Higgins said he took during a Christmas trip to visit family in New Jersey. Details of the image were redacted but the report indicated “an unknown female...was sitting on the floor facing away between the suspect’s legs.”
Higgins admitted to taking the photo and denied “any type of sexual conduct” but said the “image was part of the same ‘fantasy’ involving no victim and just a visual for him,” a report said.
“He said [redacted] was either reading or playing with toys when he took the photograph. He said he does recall the image and he said he felt guilty after taking the photograph,” the report said.
A status conference scheduled for June 11 was continued pending an August settlement conference where Higgins could take a plea deal.
Raytheon did not return a call seeking to find out whether Higgins is still employed there.