Former JonBenét Ramsey Photographer Arrested On Child Porn Charges

Randall Simons reportedly sold a portfolio of JonBenét Ramsey photographs shortly after she was found dead on December 26, 1996.

July 15, 2019

Photo by: Mug shot of Randall Simons [Lane County Jail]

Mug shot of Randall Simons [Lane County Jail]

By: Catherine Townsend

OAKRIDGE, OR — A children’s photographer who has been arrested on child-pornography charges appears to be the same man who took glamour shots of JonBenét Ramsey in 1996 – just a few months before the six-year-old's death.

Oakridge Police arrested Randall D. Simons, 66, on July 2. He has been charged with 16 counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse in incidents that took place between August 2018 and June 2019, according to the Oakridge Police Department.

Simons, who describes himself as a children's photographer, allegedly accessed child pornography on a public wireless network at a restaurant in Oakridge, Oregon, KVAL reported. "Working in conjunction with Springfield Police Department and other law-enforcement agencies, Simons was identified as regularly accessing images of child pornography on the public wireless network of a local restaurant," police said in a statement.

Simons reportedly sold a portfolio of photographs of JonBenét Ramsey shortly after she was found dead on December 26, 1996.

A man by the same name with the same date of birth was hired in June 1996 by the Ramsey family to photograph JonBenét in Boulder, Colorado, according to news reports from the late 1990s.

The photos, which showed JonBenét with glamorously styled hair and makeup, led to national criticism of the children’s beauty pageants. An Associated Press article from The Daily Camera archive dated October 1998 discussed Simons' photos. The article read: “Simons was living in an undisclosed location about 120 miles east of Denver after he sold a portfolio of JonBenét glamour pictures to Sygma Photo Agency for $7,500 in January 1997."

He reportedly hoped the worldwide exposure would lead to the capture of JonBenét's killer, but acknowledged that controversy over the pictures could jeopardize his career. "My career is done. I'll probably never work again," he said then.”

KEPR TV reports that police want to hear from anyone "who has a child that has been left unattended or knows of a child that was left unattended with Randall Simons." They have asked anyone with these concerns to contact the Oakridge Police Department at (541) 782-4232 or the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 682-4150.

Simons' pretrial hearing is scheduled for August 7, according to court documents.

Watch Investigation Discovery's JonBenét: An American Murder Mystery on ID GO now!

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