Paso Robles man found guilty of child sex crimes, facing life in prison

June 2, 2021

Jason Robert Porter

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A San Luis Obispo County judge on Wednesday found a Paso Robles man guilty of 16 felonies and 36 misdemeanors for sexually abusing four children and videotaping three dozen other victims.

Jason Robert Porter, 49, faces the possibility of life in prison. However, Porter, who once represented himself in court and waived his right to a jury trial, is expected to appeal the verdict.

Porter’s trial lasted six days, during which the defense did not call a single witness to testify and did not produce any evidence. Judge Barry LaBarbera watched numerous videos of Porter filming himself digitally penetrating and molesting children. In some of the videos, Porter’s face or penis appeared.

Additionally, an 11-year-old girl, who was 4 when victimized by Porter, testified during the trial. Porter molested the girl while she spent the night, sleeping alone in his son’s bed.

LaBarbera convicted Porter of felonies involving multiple sex crimes against four children and possession of child pornography. The judge also convicted Porter of 36 misdemeanor counts of unauthorized invasion of privacy. LaBarbera found Porter not guilty of a single count of production of child pornography.

As CalCoastNews first reported, more than a decade ago author Tina Swithin began battling to keep Porter, her former brother-in-law, away from her children. Swithin reported that Porter beat puppies, made out with a 14-year-old girl at a wedding and spoke of murdering and raping women. However, a social services evaluator dismissed her claims and asked the court to force Swithin to send her children to the Porter home for the holidays.

Officers arrested Porter in June 2016, after a woman found him taking lewd photographs of her 6-year-old daughter. Prosecutors charged Porter with 16 counts of lewd acts with a child, sexual penetration of a victim 10 years old or younger, possession of matter depicting a minor involved in sexual content and 41 misdemeanor counts of using a concealed camera to record a person’s undergarments. Some of the charges were later dropped.

Following the verdict, SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement praising the juvenile victim who testified and discussing the evidence presented in court.

“We sincerely applaud the courage of the young survivor who testified and the tenacity of the law enforcement personnel who gathered and reviewed all of the evidence — including 324 electronic devices and more than four terabytes of cyber data to prove these horrible crimes,” Dow said. “These verdicts send a clear message that we will prosecute child sexual predators to the maximum extent of the law.”

Porter is facing a maximum sentence of more than 300 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney’s office. LaBarbera is scheduled to sentence Porter on June 28.

It appears, though, Porter’s strategy in the case has been to try to win on appeal. Previously, while representing himself in court, Porter filed motions claiming law enforcement, his prior public defender and the judge each violated his rights. Though represented at trial by attorney Jeffry Radding, Porter effectively did not mount a defense.


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obispan

I hear Mission Prep is going to rebrand as “Porter Prep”.


Gramelin

I dont’ understand though, where has he been since 2016? Why is he even entitiled to an appeal when there is substantial evidence? Why are we back in court now? Please explain, and please tell me he has been in prison for the last 5 years!


NorthCountyLady

Margaret Porter…Your husband is dead and can no longer take sex vacations to Thailand, your son will spend the rest of his life in prison, and you have no relationship with your granddaughters. Mother of the year you’re not.


NorthCountyLady

Sexually violent predators such as this can never be rehabilitated. He must never be outside the walls of a prison again. Although I am not an active proponent of the death penalty, there are some people who would serve society best by being executed. Although he is not a murderer, this man is one of those


Gramelin

“Although he is not a murderer, this man is one of those..”

But he is! This sick pervert is the Murderer of his victims emotional lives, of what they were suppose to be. Each of these and more is what HE Stole from his victims. Just put these words at the end of “He is the Murderer of” … Confidence, …Peace of Mind, …emotional Security, …childhood inocence….intimacy…healthy relationships…emotional strength…I am sure you can determine many many more. He left his victims with lifelong issues. He deserves to never see the light of day! And the CPS worker who failed to protect those kids should be held responsible for also victimizing those kids.


tidepool

Please Dan Dow, do not stop here. Go after the CPS staff who allowed this perpetrator to continue his reign of terror on innocent victims. Tina Swithin is a very good communicator, articulate with her words and very believable and there was enough evidence to withdraw her children from spending time with their uncle. The CPS staff is culpable and their egregious error in judgement allowed more victims to have to live with the physical and emotional wounds for the rest of their lives.


nunsense

…or until he’s released by the governor in a few months.


pasoparent5

Thank you CCN, & Dave C. for covering this horrific story from the beginning.


And of course, major kudos to Tina Swithin for never giving up, for her courage and tenacity. Thank you, Ms. Swithin. Undoubtedly your actions through the years saved other potential victims.


paragon

Glad this piece of human trash will never see the light of day. The social services evaluator that forced Tina Swithin to send her children to the Porter home for the holidays needs to be fired. Think how many children might have been saved if they took Swithin’s concerns seriously from the start.


pasoparent5

@paragon Agree 100%


derasmus

Agreed.


There needs to be a grand jury investigation of the County Social Services agency. People (individuals) need to be held accountable and there needs to be substantive reform of that agency.