South Bay man faces child porn charge
by Seth Hemmelgarn
A man associated with the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus who also worked at a youth-related nonprofit in Santa Clara faces a charge of possessing child pornography.
David Bruce Lang, 63, of Santa Clara, was arrested March 2.
Santa Clara police Lieutenant Dan Moreno, a spokesman for the agency, said in a news release that at about 7 a.m., detectives working with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children and Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement task forces served a search warrant at a home on Bret Harte Court. They arrested Lang after finding that he possessed child pornography, and he was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.
Police noted that, at the time of his arrest, Lang was the chief financial officer for the Bill Wilson Center, which provides programs, including counseling and education, for youth and families.
Lang, who's out of custody, didn't respond to a voicemail left at a phone number listed for him online, and he didn't respond directly to a note left at his home.
In a phone interview, Bruce Nickerson, Lang's attorney, said that even though authorities searched Lang's home "upside down, they didn't find anything."
"There's no indication of anything illegal that they found in the house or that he did," Nickerson said, adding that he's "puzzled" why Lang's being charged.
Nickerson, who hadn't yet seen the police report, said he didn't know why police had been investigating Lang. He said that "more than one" computer, and Lang's cellphone and cameras, were taken from his home.
Lang is "frightened about having his place ransacked and being charged," Nickerson said. He added that Lang didn't have a criminal record prior to his arrest this month.
"He has a spotless record," Nickerson said. "He's a man who's lived his entire life as a law-abiding citizen."
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Malinsky said prosecutors have filed a felony complaint of possessing child pornography in the case, but she couldn't provide more details. Nickerson said the case was being charged as a misdemeanor. Lang faces at least a year in jail if convicted. Arraignment is set for May 1.
Robin Reynolds, a spokesman for the Bill Wilson Center, said that the agency was "surprised and disappointed" about Lang's arrest.
Police seized Lang's work computer, but "at this time our initial report is there has been no material found at his work," Reynolds said.
He added that Lang had worked in Bill Wilson's "administrative offices in a staff-only area," and there was no indication he'd had any illegal contact with the center's clients.
Lang, who was the center's CFO for five years, "was suspended immediately" when his arrest was announced, and he resigned the next day, Reynolds said.
In response to an email from the Bay Area Reporter, Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus President Jason Hough said that Lang "has been a respected singer and member of the board" for the chorus. Hough said the organization had "no further commentary." It's not clear from the chorus' website whether Lang is still singing with the group, but he's not listed as a current board member.
Moreno, the Santa Clara police spokesman, said that Lang had "volunteered as an assistant scoutmaster for a Sunnyvale Boy Scout troop in the 1970s." Moreno added that the investigation of Lang was ongoing.
Three women sitting in a yard near Lang's house Saturday expressed surprise at his arrest.
"He's a good man," said one of the women who, like the others, didn't want her name published. "We all love him. He's part of the 'hood."
Police are asking anyone with information about Lang to contact Detective Frank Hagg at (408) 615-4821. Hagg didn't respond to an interview request.