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A former newspaper employee who confessed to having sexual...

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A former newspaper employee who confessed to having sexual contact with at least seven of the young carriers he supervised at Iowa's largest newspaper pleaded innocent today to sexual abuse charges.

Frank Sykora, 37, Des Moines, turned himself into authorities at 7 a.m. and later pleaded innocent to one charge of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

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Polk County Associate District Judge Norman Elliott set bond at $5,000 on each count.

Sykora was fired from his job in the Des Moines Register's circulation department Monday when a private investigator released a videotaped confession in which Sykora discussed his relationship with at least seven paperboys.

However, Haviland said officials did not rely solely on the two-hour tape made by investigator Sam Soda. He said Thursday's charges were based on information gathered during a police investigation.

Police have said a polygraph test earlier this week showed Sykora had no involvement in the disappearances of Register newspaper carriers Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin.

Gosch vanished Sept. 5, 1982 while delivering newspapers. Martin disappeared from his paper route Aug. 12.

On the videotape, Sykora confessed to sleeping with seven young newspaper carriers who worked as 'runners' on his routes. He admitted masturbating a 14-year-old boy and said he fondled 'almost all the boys,' Soda said.

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Soda has suggested Sykora may have some information about the missing boys.

'This is a man who is in a position where he knows all the routes and all the carriers,' said Soda, spokesman of the anti-child pornography group called Stolen Children Are Reported Every Day.

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