Gay Rights Icon, Arrested on Child Porn Charges

By Erin Sherbert

SF Weekly has obtained the search warrant, which details the items police seized from Brinkin and his husband’s home. Those items include computers, videos, VHS tapes, and a floppy disc.

Original story: Police say they arrested 66-year-old Larry Brinkin, the high-profile gay activist, on possession of child pornography on Friday night.

Brinkin, a community icon who led the fight for the city to recognize same-sex partnerships, was arrested and booked into San Francisco County Jail, police said.

He posted bail and was released Saturday, according to a jail spokesman.

Police Spokesman Officer Albie Esparza would only say that the case was still under investigation, and would give no more details at this time.

Brinkin retired from the Human Rights Commission in 2010, and has been a beloved member of the gay community, with the Board of Supervisors even declaring the first week of February as “Larry Brinkin Week.” At the time of his retirement, he earned more than $135,000 yearly.

We put in a call to Theresa Sparks, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, told us this allegation is “beyond hard to believe.”

“It’s almost incredulous, there’s no way I could believe such a thing,” Sparks told us. “He’s always been one of my heroes, and he’s the epitome of human rights activist — this is man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100 percent, hopefully it will all come out in the investigation.”

(Update 3:30 p.m.): According to the search warrant, SFPD acted after receiving a tip from the Los Angeles Police Department, which obtained from AOL an e-mail exchange between a Los Angeles user and Police say they linked the AOL address to Brinkin’s IP address; he is owner of the account and paid for AOL service with his credit card.

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