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Patrick Springer, Published June 12 2009

Former Blues exec pleads not guilty to child porn

A former Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota assistant vice president pleaded not guilty Thursday to two child pornography charges.

Robert Scheiring, a 43-year-old father of three, entered his pleas in U.S. District Court on charges of distribution and possession of child pornography.

A native of Winnipeg, Scheiring was arrested last month after federal agents found pornographic images on a portable computer drive he kept in his garage.

Scheiring resigned May 7, the day after the agents had showed up at his office to interview him, and he acknowledged having “a lot” of child pornography, according to court documents.

Scheiring was indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment replaced an earlier criminal complaint.

Steve Light, Scheiring’s defense lawyer, said he has yet to receive evidence from prosecutors, who expect to make it available as early as today.

“At this point I’m going to presume he’s not guilty, as we always should at this stage,” Light said after the hearing. “We’ll be in a much better position to determine the course of action we’re going to pursue” after reviewing the government’s evidence.

Scheiring remains free pending his Aug. 3 trial, but must wear an ankle bracelet that allows authorities to track his whereabouts.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522