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Onassis kin admits to porn charge

Jailed for having images of boys

James Auchincloss (left), half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, pleaded guilty yesterday in court in Medford, Ore. James Auchincloss (left), half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, pleaded guilty yesterday in court in Medford, Ore. (Jamie Lusch/Mail Tribune via Associated Press)
By Jeff Barnard
Associated Press / August 19, 2010

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MEDFORD, Ore. — James Auchincloss, who as a boy carried the wedding train of his half-sister, Jackie, up the aisle as she married John F. Kennedy, was jailed yesterday after admitting to possessing child pornography.

Auchincloss, 63, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of encouraging child sex abuse, the charge generally brought against people accused of possessing child pornography, for having images of naked boys on his computer.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Mark Shiveley ordered Auchincloss to serve 30 days in jail on each count, to be served concurrently, as part of three years of supervised probation. Auchincloss also registered as a sex offender, and agreed to undergo treatment as such, with no unauthorized contact with minors.

He was indicted a year ago on 25 counts after his longtime personal assistant, Edward McManus, told investigators he had seen Auchincloss and co-defendant Dennis Vickoren viewing pictures of naked boys in sexual poses at Auchincloss’s home in Ashland. Vickoren, 58, of Ashland, also pleaded guilty to two counts yesterday and received the same sentence.

McManus said outside the courtroom that the sentence was “not enough.’’

“I do not feel justice was served, nor was it swift,’’ he said. “I thought I would feel differently today. I thought I would have a sense of closure. I am disappointed.’’

McManus noted that the sentencing came two years after he told authorities that Auchincloss and Vickoren kept an extensive collection of child pornography in books, slides, and computer files at Auchincloss’s hillside bungalow.

Prosecutor David Hoppe said investigators reviewed the images seized from Auchincloss’s home and identified local residents in them, but after interviewing them were unable to elicit any complaints of actual sexual abuse of a child.

Defense attorney Carl Caplan told the judge that none of the photos depicted sex acts, and Auchincloss and Vickoren “did not realize they were operating in the world of child pornography.’’

Auchincloss and Vickoren will pay $1,000 in assessments and forfeit seized images deemed to be pornography. Others will be returned to them.

Caplan read a statement in which Auchincloss apologized to the victims of his crimes, declaring the acts unacceptable and stupid.

“I will do whatever is necessary to prove to them and society that I will be a better person,’’ Caplan read.

An heir to a wealthy family that made a fortune in oil and financing, Auchincloss is the half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. He went on to be a patron of the arts and an amateur historian, and moved to Ashland, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 15 years ago.

Friends of Auchincloss said Onassis later treated him like a pariah. Various reasons have been given, including the fact that Auchincloss served as a source for the racy Onassis biography titled “Jackie, Oh,’’ by Kitty Kelley.

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