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Pittsburgh-area man says child porn a result of his sexual abuse

A Pittsburgh-area man arrested on charges that he had downloaded images of child pornography reportedly told investigators that he welcomed the arrest as a "godsend" and a chance to enter into professional counseling to deal with sexual abuse he endured as a child. This case may be typical of many where child pornography possession charges are involved, where the defendant is struggling with an addiction he or she wishes to break.

According to news reports, the FBI began investigating the suspect in October. It is not clear what caused federal agents to suspect him, but they subpoenaed his home Internet service provider to track whether pictures of apparent child pornography from online sharing sites were being downloaded onto his computer.

The FBI claims that around 3,000 such images ended up on the computer. A criminal complaint contends that the suspect admitted viewing the images before deleting them. He said that he believes he began viewing child pornography in response to memories of being molested when he was young. He expressed a desire to seek counseling and his atorney says that he is "taking steps to deal with .. those childhood experiences."

The suspect works in network security for a bank but the images appear to have been downloaded to the suspect's home computer only. The man denied using any work computers or materials to download images and also said he never shared the pictures with anyone.

If true, the fact that he was a passive observer of the images instead of a sharer or producer could affect the criminal penalties he will face. His victimization in childhood could also be a factor. 

Source: WPXI-TV, "BNY Mellon official charged with possessing child pornography," April 18, 2013

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