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Pennsylvania child pornography charges: Man, 58, nabbed in sting

A Pennsylvania man from Westmoreland County was recently arrested on child pornography charges. The Internet crimes accusations appear to have resulted from a law enforcement sting. Authorities say that the man now facing child pornography charges participated in a file sharing network that enabled him to download child pornography over a time period of approximately six weeks in April and May.

Investigators say they pinpointed the accused man's IP address, called an Internet protocol number. Armed with that information, they apparently obtained a search warrant and appeared at the 58-year-old man's home in Loyalhanna Township. A search reportedly resulted in the discovery of 17 files containing pornographic images of children. The material seized was not otherwise described.

The formal charges include criminal use of a communication device (a single count) and dissemination of photos or film of child pornography (five counts). The accusations were not otherwise detailed. However, the accused man is said to have offered an explanation to authorities at the time the search warrant was executed. He reportedly explained that his two children had previously been placed by authorities in foster care, and he was using the Internet to ensure the children were not being abused, something that he suspected was occurring.

As this case now heads to a Pennsylvania criminal courtroom, the man is entitled to the same rights that protect all individuals accused of a crime in our state. It will be the sole burden of the government to prove its child pornography charges. Until -- and only if -- that occurs, the man is fully entitled to the presumption of innocence and other important legal safeguards. Nevertheless, the potentially severe consequences a conviction could bring mandate that considerable attention be focused on the specifics of the accusations and the laws under which formal charges have been brought.

Source: triblive.com, "Loyalhanna porn suspect says he was seeking his children," Renatta Signorini, June 16, 2013

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