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Inmate charged with possession of child pornography

A Pennsylvania halfway house inmate has been charged with possession of child pornography. He has now been transferred to the Westmoreland County Prison, where he awaits court proceedings. Possession of child pornography involving the Internet is a federal crime that is also punishable under Pennsylvania state law.

Local authorities say they received a tip in March that the Westmoreland County halfway house inmate had child pornography on his cell phone. They subsequently initiated an investigation which uncovered several pictures of allegedly underage males engaging in sexual activity. The forty-nine-year-old man was recently arraigned as he faces charges of possessing child pornography and criminal use of a cell phone.

An inmate may be allowed to serve part of their prison sentence in a halfway house as a way of aiding in their transition to life outside of prison. Inmates who fail to abide by the halfway house rules, or who violate state or federal law, may be discharged and sent back to prison.

Pennsylvania law prohibits the intentional viewing or possession of material depicting a child under the age of 18 years old engaging in prohibited sexual acts or simulation of such acts. Conviction of this offense is a second degree felony according to 18 Pa. C.S. ยง 6312(d). When the Internet is involved, such possession can constitute a federal offense.

If convicted, those charged with possession of Internet child pornography may be subjected to not only severe legal consequences, but also damage to the accused's reputation. The Pennsylvania halfway house inmate may face serious punishment if convicted of these charges, such as additional prison time, fines and requisite sex-offender registration.

Source: The Washington Times, "Halfway house inmate charged with having child porn on phone", May 19, 2017

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