WAUSEON — Less than a month before the body of 20-year-old Sierah Joughin was found bound and gagged in a Fulton County cornfield, a search was performed on a pornographic website with a computer in James D. Worley's home.
"hogtyed + teen." June 24, 2016, 5:03 a.m.
James D. Worley, 58, listens to testimony during his capital murder trial in Fulton County Common Pleas Court in Wauseon on March 14, 2018.
On the day Ms. Joughin disappeared while riding her bicycle — July 19 — pornographic searches were made over several hours from that computer, testified Toledo Police Detective David Morford, who works in cyber crimes and is a member of the FBI violent crimes task force in northwest Ohio.
Worley's pornographic habits were a focus of the third day of testimony in Fulton County Common Pleas Court. Worley, 58, is accused of kidnapping and killing the Metamora woman and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Detective Morford described search terms, videos, and documents recovered from the computer under the user labeled "Jim," which was password protected.
Search terms and videos containing the words "rape," "forced," "hitchhiker," "stranded," “helpless,” or "gag" also appear frequently, according to the detective's testimony.
While many in the gallery appeared visibly distraught, Worley remained relatively expressionless as the computer’s contents were read aloud.
Angelita Cruz Bridges, assistant U.S. attorney, briefly stopped proceedings Wednesday afternoon during the detective's testimony and after defense attorney Merle Dech asked if the items presented contained all of Worley's search history.
Detective Morford said no, and Mr. Dech asked if he could provide it in its entirety.
Judge Jeffrey Robinson called a recess and told the courtroom upon resuming that the Department of Justice has to authorize releasing the entire contents. Ms. Bridges during the recess referred comment to U.S. Attorney spokesman Mike Tobin.
Mr. Tobin when reached on Wednesday said his office would look into the matter.
Detective Morford may be recalled later in the trial, but Mr. Dech declined to comment about the incident after court adjourned for the day.
Worley, of rural Delta, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder — both with death-penalty specifications — as well as four counts of kidnapping, two counts each of murder, abduction, felonious assault, and having weapons while under disability, and one count each of possessing criminal tools, gross abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.
On Wednesday, a man who identified Worley as a friend of more than 30 years testified that Worley had discussed plans to build a pornography studio on his property.
Lawrence Krise, who also lives on County Road 6 in rural Fulton County, was the first witness in the capital murder trial to say he knew Worley personally.
Mr. Krise, who said he visited the Worley residence "once or twice a month," testified that the two sometimes watched porn together while Worley's mother slept in her bedroom. The last time they did so was the winter before Ms. Joughin disappeared, he said.
Wednesday morning's testimony picked up where it left off on Tuesday, with agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation showing jurors several items recovered from a barn on the suspect's property. They include women's lingerie and bondage devices.
Jurors on Monday heard recorded interviews with investigators in which Worley told them that he planned to use the lingerie in making amateur porn.
Mr. Krise testified that Worley had shown him some of those items and had told him about plans for what attorneys called "casting couch" videos, but Mr. Krise said he didn't take them seriously. He noted several other businesses Worley ran — a transportation and a flower drying business — had previously failed.
"He had some lingerie. ... It was all packaged up," Mr. Krise said.
The trial resumes at 1 p.m. Thursday in Wauseon.
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