Metro

A retired police officer, 71, is charged with distributing child porn. Now he wants the case dropped

A 71-year-old retired cop living in Southampton who faces a federal child pornography indictment wants the charges tossed, arguing in court papers that the grand jury process was tainted.

An attorney for Bruce Singer filed a motion to dismiss the seven-count indictment Wednesday in US District Court in Springfield.

Singer was indicted last year on one count of possession of child pornography, five counts of distribution of child pornography, and one count of receipt of child pornography, according to legal filings.

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But in Wednesday’s dismissal motion, Singer’s attorney, Alan J. Black, wrote that the foreperson of the grand jury that handed up the indictment did not belong on the panel. The foreperson, Black wrote, was a prosecutor in the Hampden district attorney’s office, which had been involved in the investigation of a group including Singer at the state level before the feds charged Singer.

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He was previously indicted in Hampshire County, but Hampden County prosecutors had a role in the state probe because at least one of the targets lived in their jurisdiction in Westfield, records show.

“The Defendant contends that there is a strong likelihood that the relationship between the United States Attorney’s Office and the [Hampden] District Attorney’s Office existed,” Black wrote. “The Defendant is aggrieved that a member of the Grand Jury had a potential conflict of interest when that person serves as a Grand Juror in the instant case, a prejudice which could not be cured. The Defendant’s right to equal protection under the law is of constitutional significance and cannot be set aside.”

The US attorney’s office hadn’t responded to the filing as of late Wednesday morning.

“The Grand Juror in question would have full right of access in his/her professional capacity to the investigation/information regarding Defendant’s prior convictions and open cases, and is believed to have had said access during all times relevant hereto,” Black wrote.

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Singer served as an officer with the Paramus Police Department in New Jersey from 1972 to 1999, the Daily Hampshire Gazette has reported.

The New York Times quoted Singer in 1991 discussing Sportsworld, a sports and entertainment-themed complex that had recently opened in New Jersey and was popular with local teens.

“I can tell you that as an alternate activity, it’s preferable to hanging out in malls,” Singer told the Times, which noted in the 1991 article that the then-lieutenant was former chairman of the Paramus Substance Abuse Prevention Committee. “But Sportsworld is a business, and it’s not inexpensive to frequent there. At some point, the young people are going to run out of money. It’s not unusual for a young person to spend $15 or $20 there in less than two hours.”

The next hearing in Singer’s federal case is slated for June 21.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.