Marana man pleads guilty in Super Bowl porn-clip case

2011-10-21T00:00:00Z 2014-09-05T15:25:34Z Marana man pleads guilty in Super Bowl porn-clip caseKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 21, 2011 12:00 am  • 

A 39-year-old local man admitted Thursday to being the person who caused thousands of Comcast subscribers to see 37 seconds of an X-rated movie during the 2009 Super Bowl.

Frank Tanori Gonzalez pleaded guilty to two counts of computer tampering as part of a plea agreement that stipulates he must serve three years' probation and pay a $1,000 fine to the Arizona Attorney General's anti-racketeering fund. If Gonzalez successfully completes his probation, the crime will be designated a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Gonzalez was a Cox Communications employee who was working as a liaison with Comcast when he accessed Comcast's computer system without proper authorization in June 2008 and February 2009, defense attorney Sean Chapman told Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger. The pornography incident took place during the second incident, Chapman said.

Gonzalez was arrested by Marana police and the FBI on suspicion of fraud and computer tampering earlier this year.

Tucson received national attention after a clip from "Wild Cherries 5" aired three minutes before the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The game was shown locally on KVOA. The station sent its signals - both standard definition and high definition - to Cox Communications, which then sent them to Comcast.

Only those watching the standard-definition feed of the game on KVOA saw the clip.

KVOA officials said the station's signal didn't have porn on it when the station sent it over to Comcast.

The X-rated footage was running on a Cox channel at the same time as the Super Bowl was being shown on Comcast.

Comcast ended up offering a $10 credit to all of its 80,000 subscribers, whether they witnessed the scene or not.

It wasn't immediately known how many subscribers took Comcast up on its offer, but Assistant Arizona Attorney General Michael Jette told the judge Comcast is not seeking restitution.

Officials with Comcast have said they had strengthened their security system.

Munger will sentence Gonzalez Dec. 1.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

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