|U.S. Judge Bill Pryor|
A prominent Alabama Republican took one look at photos from a gay porn Web site in 1997 and shrieked, "Holy cow, that's Bill Pryor! I'm meeting with him this afternoon!" sources tell Legal Schnauzer.
The Republican official did meet that afternoon with Pryor, who would soon become Alabama's attorney general, and the photos disappeared the next day from badpuppy.com, a gay porn "supersite" based in Cocoa, Florida.
Our research indicates a mystery man named "Ernie" played a pivotal role in exposing Bill Pryor's ties to gay porn. More on that in a moment.
What exactly did the Alabama Republican see that day? He was shown copies of "WizardBoy Gallery #19," a cornucopia of images that featured young men in various states of undress. Next to a head shot of one young man was the name "Bill Pryor." And when one clicked on a link, it produced multiple images of Bill Pryor, posing in a state of full-frontal nudity.
The entry page to WizardBoy Gallery #19" includes head shots of 10 young men who all appear to be in their early 20s, roughly the college years. It's likely that no one involved could imagine at the time that one of the featured gentlemen would become a federal judge. (See screen shots of the gallery at the end of this post.)
President George W. Bush nominated Pryor in 2003 to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The staunchly right-wing, anti-gay Pryor proved to be perhaps the most controversial appointee of the Bush years, and the Senate confirmed him in 2005 on a close vote.
A Legal Schnauzer investigation shows that nude photographs of Pryor, complete with a noticeable erection, appeared at Badpuppy--and officials with the Alabama Bureau of Investigations (ABI), acting on a tip from an informant, captured screen shots before the images were removed.
Pryor has known the photos were public since at least September 1997, and our sources say it's unlikely he disclosed their existence to FBI and U.S. Senate investigators during the pre-confirmation process for the federal judgeship.
Could Pryor face serious consequences if it is shown he made false statements to officials looking into his background? Based on the impeachment and removal of Louisiana federal judge Thomas Porteous in 2010, the answer might be yes.
One of the articles of impeachment against Porteous involved his failure to disclose information to investigators--and his false statements during pre-confirmation regarding any background information that might prove embarrassing to him and the president who nominated him, Bill Clinton.
Did Pryor withhold information that would embarrass him and George W. Bush? We don't have a certain answer at the moment, but it appears likely.
Pryor posed for the photographs when he was a student at Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana Monroe) from 1980 to 1984, our sources say. The photos likely appeared somewhere in print during the '80s and remained largely out of sight until finding new life during the digital revolution of the 1990s.
How did the Pryor photos make their way to Badpuppy? Details about that are murky, but language at the top of "WizardBoy Gallery 19" provides some clues. Here is how it reads:
WizardBoy Gallery #19 features new scans of classic color and B&W pix from a private collector. Thanks, Ernie! Comments to WizardBoy welcome.
Who is Ernie? Well, that remains a mystery at this point--although we have discovered some clues about his identity. This much appears certain: Ernie was quite the collector of gay porn, and he liked to share it with his friends and the public.
A number of individuals connected to Alabama law enforcement acted on a tip that helped bring Bill Pryor's secret to light. But without Ernie, and his passion for collecting gay images, there probably never would have been anything to investigate.
We contacted Pryor last week and requested an interview about the photographs and their implications. His first response was to say "these accusations are totally false." We responded by pointing out that the story revolves around photographs of him, not accusations, and sent him copies of several images. Pryor responded by saying, "Those photos are not of me."
One of Pryor's closest associates in Alabama politics would not buy that claim. Upon seeing the photos, he responded immediately, "Holy cow, that's Bill Pryor!"