A jazz pianist pleads guilty to child-porn charges – and tries to explain 

Page 7 of 7

On the day that Laursen pleaded guilty, Jess and her mother were there in court. Laursen, in a dark charcoal jacket and brown pants, sat with his attorney. At the prosecution table were two more lawyers.

The judge arrived and checked off the legal questions. Yes, Laursen believed that he had good legal advice; yes, he was in his right mind; yes, he understood exactly what he was doing. His attorney asked him about each picture mentioned in the charges and if it was on his hard drive due to his downloading it. He answered yes to all, appearing almost meek before the judge and apologizing when he didn't hear a question correctly.

In the front row, Jess slumped into her mother's arms. Though she didn't make a sound, her body shuddered.

"You did this knowing it was wrong?" Laursen's attorney asked.

"Yes."

"It was against the law?"

"Yes."

The judge ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and called for officers to transport Laursen to Osceola, where he would be held until sentencing.

The judge was already gone by the time the federal marshal arrived. He told Laursen to get rid of anything extraneous. "Any money, glasses case, anything like that," he said. Laursen took off his tie and belt and passed them to the court officer, who passed them to Jess.

Flanked by the marshal and the court officer, Laursen headed toward the door. He turned to Jess, raised his eyebrows in a sort of "Oh, well" expression, grinned and waved once. Then the door shut behind him.

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