KMOX's Harry Hamm, Stymied by Jail Phones, Hasn't Hired an Attorney in Sex Abuse Case


Harry Hamm, shown in a booking photo, is facing child sex charges.
  • Harry Hamm, shown in a booking photo, is facing child sex charges.

Longtime radio personality Harry Hamm is struggling to figure out the phones in the St. Louis County Jail following his arrest on charges of sodomy, incest and child porn.

The 77-year-old former entertainment editor at KMOX was scheduled for a bond hearing this morning, but he told Judge Richard Stewart that his trouble with the inmate phones has undermined his attempts to hire an attorney, despite assurances at an earlier appearance that he would have one by today.

Instead, he asked the judge to place him on house arrest for a week so that he could make calls from the familiarity of his home in Chesterfield.

"I'm confident I could get a private attorney," Hamm explained.

Stewart declined to put Hamm on house arrest. Instead, he told him to meet with his case manager at the jail to figure out his options.

St. Ann Police say Hamm was reported last week by his relatives, including a young boy he is accused of abusing nine days ago. Hamm confessed to the abuse, and a search of his phone turned up naked photos of kids in sexual positions, court documents and police say.

He has been charged with statutory sodomy, incest and possession of child pornography, all felonies. Police are still investigating with an eye toward locating additional victims, authorities say. A federal investigation is also underway. He has also been fired by KMOX.

In court, Hamm spoke in a voice barely above a whisper. Once a swaggering presence around St. Louis, the U.S. Navy veteran interviewed a long list of A-List celebrities, including Harrison Ford and Julia Roberts, during a radio career that spanned more than four decades. On the side, he racked up thousands of hours as a commercial pilot.

His role in recent years as KMOX's entertainment editor was more limited, with his output mostly comprised of theater and movie reviews, but he remains a well-known name on St. Louis' airwaves.

In court this morning, there were few signs of his former brashness. His thin hair was slicked over in the front as before, but now it was mussed in spikey strands around a bald spot in the back. He wore a baggy, tan jail jumpsuit, cinched around the ankles by shackles connected to handcuffs on his thin wrists.

Hamm was jailed a week ago on a $250,000 cash bond. The conditions required that he have no contact with kids and submit to an electronic monitor, should he post bond. But Hamm has not posted bond. He has been locked up ever since his arrest on Friday.

St. Louis County prosecutors want to make sure that doesn't change. On Monday, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Bomkamp filed a request to hold Hamm without bond while the charges are pending.

Bomkamp says that prosecutors consider Hamm a threat to the community.

The judge decided not to have a hearing on that issue this morning so Hamm can first secure an attorney. Hamm said he had applied for a public defender. He was rejected, because he has too much money.

Stewart scheduled a new hearing for Wednesday to decide whether to appoint a lawyer for him.

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