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Karr To Face Calif. Child Porn Charges

John Mark Karr, center, formerly a suspect in the decade-old JonBenet Ramsey murder, is transported back to the Boulder County Jail after charges against him were dropped by the district attorney Monday, Aug. 28, 2006, in Boulder, Colo.
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
A judge on Tuesday ordered John Mark Karr, the former suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, sent to Sonoma County, Calif., to face five child pornography possession charges dating to 2001.

If convicted, he could get a year in prison on each count. For now, the 41-year-old teacher is being held in a Boulder, Colo., jail awaiting extradition that must occur by Sept. 13.

The extradition order came as Boulder District Attorney Mary Lacy defended having Karr hauled to Colorado from Thailand for a DNA test that ultimately proved he didn't kill Ramsey, saying the former teacher's predilection for little girls forced her hand.

Lacy said Karr, while under surveillance in Bangkok, was seen paying unusual attention to a 5-year-old schoolgirl – something she called the "turning point for everyone."

"We felt we could not ignore this," Lacy said Tuesday. She said a forensic psychologist told authorities Karr "was dangerous," and perhaps "escalating" toward an assault or worse.

Because of that, Lacy said she had no regrets and no sympathy for Karr, only for his family, CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports. His father and brother visited him in jail for the first time on Tuesday. They wanted to sell his story and Karr himself had already picked Johnny Depp as the man to portray him.

The district attorney has been bitterly criticized by defense attorneys and by Gov. Bill Owens, who accused her of wasting thousands of dollars on the "most expensive DNA test in Colorado history."

"The decisions were mine," said Lacy, who will be forced out of office by term limits in 2008. "The responsibility is mine, and I should be held accountable for all decisions in this case."

Authorities spent at least $9,300 on their investigation of Karr and brought him to the U.S. after he balked at a more sophisticated DNA test that could have ruled him out as a suspect, Lacy said.

She said her office has checked out some 200 suspects over the years and dealt with "dozens" of false confessions. The problem, she said, is that there is nothing left that only the killer would know.

"As far as we can tell, there is no physical evidence in this case that has not been in the public domain," Lacy said. "The ability of our office or any law enforcement to connect this kind of a person — based on something they know about it that no one else knows — was gone a long time ago."

CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen said Lacy and her office "did what prosecutors do all the time. They checked out a lead, spent some money in doing so, and ended up at a dead end. What is different here is that the media found out about the lead, and the suspect falsely admitted to it, and those things turned the investigation into a circus."

As for Karr, Lacy said she will cooperate with authorities in California "to get him convicted, registered, treated and supervised."

"I also know that at least every parent in this country has seen his picture and knows his name so you have some ability to protect yourself against him," Lacy said.