Abington man sentenced to house arrest for possessing child porn.
An Abington man faces time under house arrest and intensive probation after he admitted to possessing child pornography on his cellphone.
James Wheelock, 50, of the 200 block of Keswick Avenue, in the Glenside section of Abington, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 60 months in the county’s intermediate punishment program, the first nine months to be served under house arrest. Wheelock will serve the remainder of the sentence under intensive probation, including sex offender supervision.
Common Pleas Court Judge Todd D. Eisenberg imposed an additional seven year probationary period following parole, meaning Wheelock will be under court supervision for a total of 12 years.
While serving house arrest, Wheelock will be permitted to leave his home only for court-approved purposes, such as for work or medical appointments.
Eisenberg ordered Wheelock to continue with a counseling program that he previously began attending. Wheelock also faces a 15year requirement to report his address to state police to comply with the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Eisenberg said Wheelock is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with minors while serving his sentence.
Wheelock pleaded guilty to two felony charges including sex abuse of children possessing child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility in connection with a November 2017 incident.
The investigation began in November 2017 after a witness contacted police and provided authorities with two images obtained from Wheelock’s cellphone. The images depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual acts or poses, according to the criminal complaint filed by Abington Detective Rick Beaghley.
On Nov. 22, a search warrant was executed for Wheelock’s residence and electronic devices, including his cellphone, court documents indicate.
“Wheelock stated he knew why the police was there, as he was viewing underage children that were naked on the Internet,” Beaghley wrote in the arrest affidavit. “Asked if the images were child pornography, Wheelock replied, ‘Yes.’”
A forensic examination of the items seized uncovered 45 images of child pornography on Wheelock’s cellphone, as well as messages between Wheelock and another person in which they spoke about wanting to sexually assault a 7-year-old child and an 8-month-old baby, according to the criminal complaint.