A trial date of Dec. 12 has been set for the former director of the Highland County Visitors Bureau on federal obscenity charges.
Bob Lambert’s trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, according to court records. A final pretrial conference is set for Nov. 29.
Lambert was indicted in September by a federal grand jury on two counts of producing or attempting to produce child pornography, and one count each of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
The indictments say that between June 1 and June 25, 2016, Lambert “did knowingly employ, use, persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor… to engage in sexually explicit conduct… for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct… which visual depiction was produced using materials that had been mailed, shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer.”
A separate indictment states that Lambert possessed pornographic material involving a minor “who had not attained 12 years of age…”
An order filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio states that plea agreement discussions “shall be commenced as soon as practicable,” and if an agreement is reached a change of plea will be scheduled.
After originally being held at the Highland County Justice Center on $50,000 bond, Lambert appeared for a detention hearing and arraignment in early October in Cincinnati, represented by his new attorney, Adam Bleile of the Cincinnati firm Bleile and Associates.
Lambert was granted OR bond with the condition of 24-hour monitored home incarceration, according to court records. He entered pleas of not guilty to the four counts against him. He is believed to be staying at a residence in the Cincinnati area.
Lambert was arrested at his Hillsboro home on Aug. 9 after the Hillsboro Police Department received information regarding “criminal activity involving sexual acts with minors at a residence in the 400 block of East Main Street,” according to a press release at the time from HPD. “During this investigation officers received information that led to a search warrant being served” at Lambert’s residence, police said.
Police took various electronic devices and other items after executing the search warrant and placing Lambert under arrest
A short time before his arrest, Lambert had said on social media that he was planning to move to Florida, prompting police to act quickly.
According to an affidavit from Hillsboro Police Sgt. Shawn Kelley, the investigating officer in the case, Lambert “on or about the month of June, 2016 in Hillsboro, Ohio did unlawfully create, produce obscene material that portrayed a minor as one of its participants.” He “did also buy, procure, possess, or control obscene material, that has a minor as one of its participants,” the affidavit alleged.
Police had originally charged Lambert with second-degree felony illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance, and fifth-degree felony pandering obscenity with a minor, according to court records. The local charges were dropped after Lambert was indicted by the federal grand jury.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.