Auchincloss to stay jailed without bail

Ashland resident James Auchincloss will remain in Jackson County Jail without bail after prosecutors say he again violated his probation on an August conviction on child pornography charges.

Auchincloss is not believed to have committed any new crimes, said Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe in a Thursday afternoon hearing before Jackson County Circuit Judge Tim Barnack. But Hoppe stressed this was Auchincloss' second violation of a structured sanction. Auchincloss should stay in jail until his April 1 hearing, he said.

Auchincloss' attorney, Carl Caplan, argued that "this is a treatment issue."

"Mr. Auchincloss is certainly not a threat to anyone," Caplan said.

Barnack ruled in favor of the state's request.

"I'm going to leave it at no bail," the judge said.

This is the second time Auchincloss has been back in jail since Aug. 18, when Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Mark Schiveley sentenced him to 30 days for two felony counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

The half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spent Christmas in jail for his first probation violations before being released in January. But Auchincloss, 63, is suspected of violating the terms of his supervision once again, said Hoppe.

In the first instance, Auchincloss apparently failed to report all of his behavior to his sex offender treatment group and disclosed that he had been negligent just before a scheduled polygraph test. This time he is contesting the allegations, Hoppe said.

"Last time he was given 30 days (in jail) and he accepted the sanction," said Hoppe. "This time he's denying the allegations and there will be a contested hearing. If he's found to be in violation, his probation could be revoked and he could end up serving a prison sentence."

As part of his negotiated plea agreement with Jackson County prosecutors prior to his conviction, Auchincloss acknowledged possessing and distributing photographs of prepubescent children, images prosecutors described as lewd and lascivious in nature.

Schiveley also ordered Auchincloss to serve three years' probation, during which he must stay away from children and undergo sex-offender treatment. He must also be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Auchincloss' probation officer initiated the arrests, after learning that Auchincloss may not have complied with the terms of his supervision, said Nate Gaoiran, program manager of the sex offender unit for Jackson County Community Justice.

The arrest and jail lodging are standard protocol for a suspected probation violation, Gaoiran said.

Ashland police began investigating Auchincloss and an associate, Dennis Vickoren, in connection with child pornography in the summer of 2008. That October, police searched their homes and found graphic images of young boys, according to search warrant affidavits.

Auchincloss was originally indicted on 25 felony counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in August 2009 and initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. Vickoren was indicted on 30 felony counts and also initially pleaded not guilty. Both later pleaded guilty to two felony counts each of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

Vickoren, who is not back in jail, was convicted on the same child pornography charges as Auchincloss and received the same sentence.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail

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