KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A 60-year-old man plied young girls with ice cream and soda spiked with sedatives and made seminude videos of them that he stored in a computer file named "Consuming the Date Rape Drug," authorities said.
James Phillip Edwards of Kansas City was charged Wednesday with one count each of advertising child pornography over the Internet, attempted distribution of child pornography over the Internet and possession of child pornography. He was ordered held without bond.
Edwards' attorney, Travis Poindexter, did not immediately respond to a phone message Thursday seeking comment. A message left on Edwards' home phone was not immediately returned.
Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Missouri, said Thursday that Edwards might face additional charges and that the investigation was ongoing.
Authorities began investigating Edwards in May for possession of child pornography on his home computer, according to court records.
When investigators confiscated the computer, they found a file called "Consuming the Date Rape Drug," which began with an explanation "that the girls would be given a date rape drug in soda and separately with ice cream."
That file showed three girls sitting on a bed that looked like one in Edwards' south Kansas City basement, authorities said. Edwards appears in the video giving the girls drinks and what appears to be ice cream, according to court records.
"After the girls are apparently unconscious, a few are depicted naked from the waist down," and Edwards then appears in one shot touching one girl's genitals, investigators said.
Another computer file had a photo collage named "Phil's Kindergarten Class Ages 4-7" that showed five girls in separate photos lying on the same bed, naked from the waist down. Edwards is shown in one of the photos, according to the court document.
Edwards told investigators in a videotaped interview after his Oct. 14 arrest that "he doesn't believe that what he has done is wrong," according to a motion seeking Edwards' pretrial detention filed by assistant U.S. attorney Katharine Fincham.
"His view is that society places arbitrary lines (as in age restrictions) around sexual conduct, with which he doesn't agree," Fincham wrote.
Prosecutors said Edwards admitted giving "multiple minor girls" Ambien, a sedative, before making videos of them with their genitalia exposed and that the children ranged in age from 6 to 12. They said he told investigators he spent time spitting on one girl's face.
Prosecutors didn't say how Edwards knew the children or how they came to be in his home. But they said they believe all the girls have been identified and are safe.
Edwards' family members were apparently unaware of any alleged illegal activity, according to the court documents. He is married to his third wife.
If convicted on all charges, Edwards could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison on the advertising child pornography charge, up to 20 years on the attempted distribution charge and up to 10 years on the possession charge.