Jail for child porn pos­ses­sion

An­drew O’Neill, of Hat­field, also sen­tenced to pro­ba­tion

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

A 68-year-old Hat­field Town­ship man is on his way to jail af­ter he ad­mit­ted to pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy.

An­drew O’Neill, of the 2000 block of Maple Av­enue, was sen­tenced in Mont­gomery County Court to three to 23 months in the county jail af­ter he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual abuse of chil­dren pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy in con­nec­tion with in­ci­dents that oc­curred be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber 2016. Judge Wil­liam R. Car­pen­ter or­dered O’Neill to re­port to the jail on Sept. 5 to be­gin serv­ing the sen­tence.

O’Neill also must com­plete three years’ pro­ba­tion af­ter he’s paroled from jail, mean­ing he will be un­der court su­per­vi­sion for about five years.

O’Neill is el­i­gi­ble for the jail’s work re­lease pro­gram dur­ing his in­car­cer­a­tion and that work re­lease can in­clude at­tend­ing ther­apy ses­sions in Ply­mouth Meet­ing, court pa­pers in­di­cate.

As a re­sult of his con­vic­tion, O’Neill faces a 15-year re­quire­ment to re­port his ad­dress to state po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Mont­gomery County de­tec­tives as­signed to the In­ter­net Crimes Against Chil­dren Task Force launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into O’Neill’s ac­tiv­i­ties in early Septem­ber 2016 af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion that an in­di­vid­ual at a Hat­field ad­dress had up­loaded images con­tain­ing child pornog­ra­phy be­tween Aug. 10 and Sept. 4, 2016.

The images in­cluded chil­dren un­der the age of 18 pos­ing naked or en­gaged in sexual acts with other mi­nors or adults, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Once O’Neill was de­vel­oped as

a sus­pect through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties ob­tained a war­rant to search his res­i­dence

on Sept. 29.

Dur­ing ques­tion­ing by de­tec­tives, O’Neill ad­mit­ted to own­er­ship and us­age of the sus­pect email ac­counts that con­tained the child pornog­ra­phy.

“Fur­ther O’Neill ad­mit­ted to col­lect­ing child pornog­ra­phy

for a pe­riod of five years and in­di­cated there may be images on his lap­top com­puter in the apart­ment,” county De­tec­tive James Reape al­leged in the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

De­tec­tives seized com­puter equip­ment be­long­ing

to O’Neill for foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion and later de­ter­mined there was a to­tal of 899 images of child pornog­ra­phy and 33 child pornog­ra­phy videos on two of his lap­top com­put­ers and three flash drives, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate.

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