Trial starts of former Perry man on child sexual exploitation charges

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Robert William Kuhn, 50, of Des Moines and formerly of Perry is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of invasion of privacy.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The trial started Monday in Polk County District Court of a former Perry man who allegedly secretly videotaped minors undressing in his West Des Moines record store in 2017.

Robert William Kuhn, 50, of Des Moines and formerly of Perry is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of invasion of privacy.

A 2017 investigation by the West Des Moines Police Department uncovered videos of females disrobing on the hidden camera and a memory card containing thousands of files, videos and pictures of what appeared to be minors having sex.

At the time of the alleged crimes, Kuhn was the owner of Wayback Records at 104 Fifth St. in the Valley Junction area of West Des Moines.

Kuhn was indicted on federal charges in November 2017 in connection with the alleged incident that occurred in August 2017. The federal charges were dismissed May 17, 2018, by U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger in Des Moines, and the state charges were filed May 16, 2018, before Polk County District Court Judge Heather L. Lauber.

Kuhn’s Des Moines attorney, Kimberly Rodgers Smith, filed a motion Sunday night, asking the court to prohibit the prosecution, led by Assistant Polk County Attorney Meggan Leigh Guns, from making mention during the trial of Kuhn’s “sexual proclivities or ‘fetishes’ as identified by law enforcement” and to any witness statements that “imply that there ‘minors performing sex acts’ in any film, recording or electronic device reviewed by law enforcement.”

Sexual exploitation of a minor is a class C felony in Iowa, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for each offense. The court may assess an additional fine of not more than $50,000 for each offense of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Invasion of privacy is an aggravated misdemeanor in Iowa, with penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250 for each offense.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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