Steward Scher, whose career as an aspiring singer was profiled in the Observer in 2007, has been charged with possession of child pornography.
Scher was indicted and jailed without bond pending a trial, now scheduled for October. He has pleaded not guilty.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Horn, in his order jailing Scher, wrote: “Very extreme chats. Images and chats include many children, bondage, young children (as young as 3 years old) and sex with dogs.”
Scher, 61, was indicted on four child pornography charges. Three of the charges carry mandatory minimum sentences of five years in prison. The federal indictment alleges that Scher possessed one or more computer images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
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The Observer profiled Scher in its Feb. 18, 2007, Sunday Arts section, detailing how he quit his six-figure job creating document organizing systems to focus completely on building a singing career in the vein of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. He performed at senior centers, class reunions, award ceremonies and charity fundraisers. His stage name was Carmine.
Scher is the brother of former Mecklenburg County commissioner Lloyd Scher.
Steward Scher was scheduled for trial this month, but his attorney, Angela Parrott, sought a delay to give her time to review the government's evidence, to look into defenses and to possibly negotiate a plea with prosecutors.
Parrott noted that the government's evidence consists of numerous images of pornography and online chats that Scher had with people, including undercover law enforcement officers.
In her motion, Parrott wrote that Scher had been participating in sexual addiction counseling three times a week in the months leading up to his May indictment. U.S. District Judge Bob Conrad agreed to postpone Scher's trial until October.