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Professor pleads guilty to federal child pornography charges

A professor at Allegheny College was arrested last fall under suspicion of involvement with child pornography. The 57-year-old was a lauded educator, and news of his arrest shocked many Pennsylvania residents. It was recently announced that the former professor pleaded guilty to multiple child pornography charges and will serve time in a federal prison.

The former professor was the 2007 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, a prestigious award given annually by the University of Pittsburgh Press. His submission led to a $15,000 prize. Following his arrest, he resigned from his position at Allegheny College.

The case includes a number of disturbing facts concerning the types and volume of images that the man possessed on his personal computer and an external hard drive. Investigators found so many inappropriate images of children that it was impossible to go through them all manually. They used an electronic search to comb through the computer and found over 36,000 images in just one of many files. Some of the images were of infants, while others were of children between 6 and 8 years of age. The charges against him included possession of child pornography, as well as receiving and sharing the same.

In structuring his criminal defense strategy, the volume of evidence held by the prosecution played a major role in the decision to enter a guilty plea in the matter. When there is overwhelming evidence that an individual is guilty of child pornography charges, a conviction is very likely. By pleading guilty, this man will likely receive a sentence that is less harsh than what he might have been given by a federal court. The maximum sentence for all of the charges is 30 years in prison. As of the time of this report, there is no word on the terms of the sentence that is expected to be handed down at the former Pennsylvania professor's next court appearance.  

Source:, "Former award-winning literature professor pleads guilty in federal child pornography case", Joe Mandak, April 6, 2015

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