‘This is heinous, heinous conduct’: Feds say Chicago-area dog show judge deleted child porn evidence in shower during FBI raid

Federal prosecutors alleged Tuesday that a Chicago-area veterinarian retreated to the shower during an FBI raid on his home earlier this month and deleted evidence of possible child pornography from his phone.

And despite the raid, Adam Stafford King, 39, who is a well-known judge on the national dog show circuit, was about to go ahead with plans to fly with his husband to California later this week to be present for the birth of their son via a surrogate mother, prosecutors alleged. He was ordered detained Tuesday by a federal judge.

FBI agents arrested King late last week on charges alleging he chatted online about a plan to sexually assault his newborn son, posting ultrasound images and photos of baby outfits as proof of the child’s pending arrival.

In asking for King to be held without bond, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Stone revealed some of those messages in court Tuesday, including one in which King allegedly told a person in New York he thought was a fellow pedophile, “Maybe you’ll get to meet my boy,” followed by a crying laughing emoji.

“This is heinous, heinous conduct,” Stone said, arguing that there were no conditions of bond that could ensure the safety of the community. “If the FBI had not stepped in and arrested him he would be in California right now.”

King’s attorney, Jonathan Bedi, had proposed a bond with strict orders to stay off the internet and avoid all contact with minors — including his son, whose due date is later this week. Bedi called King’s father, husband and father-in-law to testify that they would monitor his activities and report any infractions to the court.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Keri Holleb Hotaling sided with prosecutors and ordered King held, noting his relatives all claimed to be completely unaware of his alleged double life.

“This was a complete shock to them,” the judge said. “Nobody knew this was going on.”

Hoatling also recited some of the more disturbing allegations in the complaint, including chats where King allegedly stated he had drugged and sexually abused relatives in the past and also sexually abused a 4-year-old.

While King has not been charged with any act of alleged sexual abuse, the chats “are unfortunately completely consistent with someone who is a pedophile,” Hoatling said. “He is a serious danger to children,” she said.

King, a veterinarian specializing in ophthalmology who had been scheduled to be a judge in the toy dog category at the Westminster Kennel Club show in May, was arrested at his home in Elburn on Friday on a 33-page criminal complaint made public this week.

According to the complaint, King, using the handle @pervchiguy, traded child pornography with an unidentified person in New York and told the person he liked kids in the “single digits.”

After the person in New York was arrested last year, the FBI posed as him online and exchanged messages with King, including several in January when King and his husband traveled to New York to attend a dog show and take in the city, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also revealed in a filing before Tuesday’s hearing that Aurora police had questioned King in 2018 after someone uploaded two images of “possible” child pornography using an email that was connected to his name.

King at the time denied the email was his, but when asked if he used the website Tumblr, he responded, “To be honest, to look at porn,” according to the filing.

King was not charged in that investigation.