BOSTON (AP) – A Nantucket man who filmed himself sexually assaulting young Asian girls as they cried pleaded guilty Tuesday to child pornography charges.

William Constable, 54, a self-employed contractor, was arrested in October when he tried to retrieve a camera he left in a Cape Cod hotel room. A hotel employee who found the camera called police after seeing images of a man having sex with young girls.

Prosecutors said the camera and dozens of cassettes and compact discs later seized from the Constable’s home showed him sexually assaulting young girls as young as 5, sometimes two at a time.

During a hearing in U.S. District Court Tuesday, Constable pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography. According to the plea agreement filed with the court, the recommended sentence will be 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, with restitution to be determined when Constable is sentenced on June 10. He also faces lifetime supervision after his release.

Constable, who was also a volunteer coach for the sailing team at Nantucket High School, initially told police the images on his digital camera were “old-fashioned” and might offend them. He later said he videotaped himself having sex with the girls so that he could later “re-create the moment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana Gershengorn said.

A review of Constable’s passport showed that since 1993, he visited Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam every year except one, Gershengorn said. Constable told police he had sex with about 30 underage girls in Asia.

When first questioned by police, he said the girls were between the ages of 12 and 17, but later admitted some of the girls were as young as 7. Authorities who viewed the videos believe the vast majority of the girls were under 12, with some as young as 5, Gershengorn said.

One video clip shows a girl, between ages 6 and 8, crying and screaming as Constable sexually assaults her. Another shows a girl, approximately age 7, being assaulted by Constable as she lies with a rag stuffed in her mouth, Gershengorn told Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., in reviewing the evidence prosecutors would have presented if the case went to trial.

“He told the police that he knew what he had done was illegal, that he had a problem and that he needed help,” Gershengorn said.

Constable did not speak at the hearing, except to admit the allegations recited by the prosecutor and to enter guilty pleas. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison on the sexual exploitation charges.

Gershengorn said the FBI has been working with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement and Asian authorities to try to identify the girls in the video clips.

“My main focus was trying to find these girls to see if they needed services,” Gershengorn said.

“They’re still looking. We have not yet been able to identify any of the specified girls,” she said.

Constable, who is being held without bond, waved to family members as he was being led out of the courtroom by court officers.

“This is a very unpleasant day for him and his family,” said his lawyer, James Merberg.

AP-ES-03-11-08 1930EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.