Steward Scher, whose career as an aspiring singer was profiled in the Observer in 2007, pleaded guilty Tuesday to child pornography charges.
Scher, accused of possessing one or more computer images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, pleaded guilty without a deal from prosecutors.
Scher, 61, was indicted in May on four child pornography charges. He pleaded guilty to all the charges. Three of them carry mandatory minimum sentences of five years in prison.
In an order jailing Scher without bond in June, U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Horn wrote: “Very extreme chats. Images and chats include many children, bondage, young children (as young as 3 years old).”
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Scher had been scheduled for trial in August, 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.
In seeking to postpone the trial, Parrott wrote that the government's evidence consists of numerous images of pornography and online chats that Scher had with people, including undercover law enforcement officers.
Parrott could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Scher's trail had been rescheduled for October. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
Steward Scher is the brother of former Mecklenburg County commissioner Lloyd Scher.
The Observer's profile of Steward Scher detailed how he quit his six-figure job to focus on building a singing career. His stage name was Carmine. He performed at senior centers, class reunions, award ceremonies and charity fundraisers.