I-Team

"Sexfairy" reveals herself, speaks to I-Team

Thursday, May 15, 2008
, Chief Investigative Reporter
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We're finally hearing from the woman at the center of the child pornography case against former KGO Radio host Bernie Ward.

Until now, you haven't seen her face and didn't know much about her except that she went by the screen name "Sexfairy" and called police when Ward sent her child porn.

Please note: Understand that before reading this story or watching the interview that the topic is graphic and may be disturbing to some.

Dan Noyes first contacted the woman known as "Sexfairy" three months ago. She agreed to speak with him once the Bernie Ward Case was over.

"Sexfairy's" real name is Linda Figueiredo. She told Dan Noyes she wanted to do the interview to clear up a lot of misconceptions, primarily newspaper reports characterizing her as a dominatrix.

Dan Noyes: "Is that in any way accurate?"

Linda Figueiredo: "Not at all. I am a simple woman. I work, I'm a mother of three, it was a part of my life, I was exploring something, who hasn't, and I just got caught up in something that was not at all fun."

Dan Noyes: "It was online, though, in your personal life, were you ever..."

Linda Figueiredo: "No, not at all."

Dan Noyes: "...being a dominatrix in real life?"

Linda Figueiredo: "No, uh-hmm. No, I never wielded a whip."

Figueiredo tells the I-Team she was a 29-year-old stay-at-home mother with three young daughters when she went online as "Sexfairy" to explore her sexual boundaries. A friend gave her the screen name of a man who appeared to be submissive -- "Vincentlio."

Only later would she find out it was KGO Radio host Bernie Ward.

Linda Figueiredo: "I was interested in doing the domination thing and he was submissive, so she introduced me to him, chatted back and forth and that's when this whole melee' happened."

Figueiredo says she chatted online from her home in the Central Valley town of Oakdale with Bernie Ward at his home in San Francisco for two to three weeks. Then there was a turning point.

A transcript of the chat from December 2004 starts with Ward's "Good afternoon, mistress." "Sexfairy" answers, "How was your day, slave?"

Ward describes having gay, group sex at a San Mateo porn theater in the past and then asks:

"Are you going to make me feel dirty, mistress?"

"Sexfairy" answers, "Yes, I am."

Then Ward types, "I love trading pictures." "Sexfairy answers: "And why haven't I gotten any pics, slave. Send me some." Ward answers, "you have mail, mistress."

Linda Figueiredo: "And up in my mail came up child porn."

It was a picture of a naked 14 year old boy, a clothed 12 year old girl, and a topless woman in her 30s, all touching in a sexual way.

Dan Noyes: "When you saw that, what went through your mind?"

Linda Figueiredo: "Oh my god, basically, I was, my stomach wrenched, my stomach turned, I was trying to figure out what do I do? It was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, children shouldn't be put in sexually compromising positions at all, and then to be taking pictures of and sent around the Internet was just mind-blowing to me."

Dan Noyes: "I just want to be clear, at any point before Bernie Ward sent you child porn had you expressed an interest in children?"

Linda Figueiredo: "Absolutely not."

Within minutes, Figueiredo is on the phone with the Oakdale police. They instruct her to keep chatting with Ward to help build a case. It's a stressful assignment. In the days that follow, Ward discusses sexual activity with children and sends several more images of child porn.

Dan Noyes: "You said that seeing those images had a lasting impact on you. How so?"

Linda Figueiredo: "I still have nightmares."

Dan Noyes: "Really?"

Linda Figueiredo: "Uh-hmm. I still have nightmares. They'll be burned in my memory forever, forever that and the IM chats of him telling me what he was doing to his own children and I couldn't really at that point do anything about it."

Through his attorney, Ward says the online chat was 100 percent false, that he was role-playing as part of research for a book about hypocrisy and Republicans.

Linda Figueiredo: "I think it's the most absurd thing I have ever heard, number one, I'm not even a Republican, number two, you don't send somebody child porn to do research for a book."

The Ward child porn case went from the Oakdale police to the FBI to federal court, and one week ago, he pleaded guiltyto distributing "between 15 and 150 images" of "prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, some with sadistic, masochistic or violent conduct."

Dan Noyes: "With your help, Bernie Ward's been prosecuted, he's lost his career, he's going to prison. What do you think about that?"

Linda Figueiredo: "I think that he needs to sit in that prison cell and I think he needs to think about what he did. What he did didn't affect just one person, it affected those children that he had on that computer screen that are all over the Internet. It affected me, I was highly stressed, it put me into a deep depression for four years. And I think he needs to sit there and I think justice has been served."

Figueiredo might not have sympathy for Bernie Ward, but she does for his wife and four children. After all, she knows how important family is. Her parents have helped her through a tough four years, since "Sexfairy" first met "Vincentlio" online.

Dan Noyes: "Anything else you want to say, anything else you want people to know?"

Linda Figueiredo: "No, I'm just a normal girl that tried to do the right thing and no children should be harmed that way and no children should be taken pictures of that way and I just had to do what I had to do."

Figueiredo tells us she had no idea "Vincentlio" was, in fact, Bernie Ward until the FBI told her. There's much more to her story, including how she came up with the name "Sexfairy."

I-Team Extras

Watch the entire interview with Sexfairy (15 minutes)

Read a verbatim transcript of the interview

Complete transcript of chats between "Sexfairy" and Bernie Ward (pdf)

Related Bernie Ward stories:

I-Team blog: Bernie Ward's "Sexfairy" Talks

Ward complaints date back to priesthood

Inside Bernie Ward's online chats

Judge unseals indictment against Bernie Ward

I-Team blog: Bernie Ward and "Sexfairy"

I-Team blog: Ward fired -- for now

I-Team blog: Ward indicted on child porn

I-Team blog: Ward indictment unsealed

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