Wilson’s attorney, First Amendment advocate Larry Walters, said his client is having difficulty making bail because prosecutors filed each individual charge separately, meaning Wilson has to come up with bail for each of the charges.
“It's an additional, pre-conviction punishment,” said Walters, who has hinted that political motivation higher up may have been behind his client’s arrest.
But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the Wilson case was just business as usual.
“The law is quite clear that each photograph or each video or each image is a count. Had we gone through his entire site, we probably could have made several thousand more charges,” Judd said.
Each misdemeanor charge Wilson faces requires a $500 bond. The felony carries a $1000 bond. His total bail is $151,000, but because each charge is relatively small, Wilson has to post $30,100, or nearly twice the percentage of the bail normally required by a bondsman, and, because he has to post each bond separately, Walters said it is difficult to find a bondsman willing to take on that many individual notes.
Walters said he asked for all the charges to be combined, but the State Attorney's Office refused, saying suspects usually are charged for individual pieces of illegal material in cases such as this one.
In truth, the states haven’t yet agreed on how to charge someone who has multiple “illegal” images in their possession. In child pornography cases, for example, many prosecutors try and charge suspects for each individual image they possess, while defense attorneys tend to look at the possession as a whole. Just last week the Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments on both fronts, and the Court’s ruling could potentially lay a foundation for how people are tried with obscene material in this country.