A Gentilly man was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to 14 counts of forcible rape and nine counts of child pornography — a small fraction of the nearly 900 counts he faced for raping girls and recording the acts as a self-styled pornographer.
A bespectacled Edward Bush, 48, stood silently as Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson sentenced him to a pair of consecutive 25-year terms on two counts of forcible rape; concurrent 40-year sentences on another dozen rape counts; and 20 years each on nine counts of pornography involving juveniles.
Bush pleaded guilty earlier this year. He was indicted last year on 880 felony counts and had been held on nearly $98 million bail — believed to be the largest figure ever in Orleans Parish.
The indictment included 14 rape counts, including aggravated rape, which carries a mandatory life sentence, and more than 850 counts of child pornography.
Bush, who was a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee, was accused of sexually exploiting two female victims multiple times and selling the images for profit.
An application for an arrest warrant said Bush used his computer and camera equipment to record his “sexual encounters” with a girl who was 12 when the incidents began in 2003.
On equipment taken from Bush’s home in the 6000 block of Pratt Drive, police also found video and still images of Bush and a second victim engaged in intercourse and oral sex.
Bush was “observed setting the scenes by placing video cameras in multiple positions to capture every angle of the sexual abuse the (first) victim endured at his hands,” police said.
In three of the videos, the victim wore a “makeshift blindfold” while Bush tried to have sex with her, New Orleans Police Department Detective Marcia Willis-Watson said in the arrest warrant. In one, “the victim makes several attempts to yell and move away to stop Edward Bush but to no avail.”
In all, Willis-Watson reported viewing 667 images and recordings that revealed the girl “in sexual and pornographic positions and encounters.” Bush is seen molesting her in 26 of them.
Several of the images were filmed over a five-year period ending in 2008. The first victim told police that Bush was selling them for profit, according to the arrest warrant application.
Bush’s attorney, Brenden Villavosa, said his client “acknowledged the weight of the evidence and thought it was in his best interest to go ahead and take a plea. We are both grateful we were able to get a plea that did not involve life” in prison.
Bush’s victims declined to give a statement at his sentencing.
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