A Sisters man made his first court appearance in a child pornography case Wednesday during a charged hearing in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

George Christian Staab is accused of 10 counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and 20 counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

Staab, 73, is a retired forester with the Bureau of Land Management, according to his LinkedIn page. He has no prior criminal record.

On May 15, detectives with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office searched Staab’s residence after receiving a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Statements Staab made to detectives were also incriminating, according to the sheriff’s office.

Despite Staab appearing at Wednesday’s hearing by video from the jail, tensions in the courtroom were high.

As Staab’s hearing ended and another matter began, three people stood at the front of the gallery and shouted obscenities at Staab.

“How could you do that to kids?” one said.

The outburst prompted a stern response from retired Judge Alta Brady, presiding in the courtroom of a judge who was away.

She raised her voice and said, “Stop that. Stop that. This is not the time for that.”

Corrections deputies downstairs heard the shouting on the second floor and caught up with the angry visitors as they were leaving.

The three people were allowed to walk to their car and leave.

District Attorney John Hummel said additional charges against Staab could come.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Earlier, the court denied a request by Staab for a public defender, finding his income and assets exceeded state guidelines.

Staab retained attorney T.J. Spear, who also faced verbal abuse in the courtroom Wednesday.

“How do you defend people like that?” someone shouted at Spear.

Spear had no comment leaving the courthouse.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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