Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Il­gen­fritz ril­gen­fritz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @rpil­gen­fritz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » A Vil­lanova Univer­sity as­so­ciate cam­pus min­is­ter has ad­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he used the phone app Kik to re­ceive a sex­u­ally ex­plicit im­age of a girl de­scribed as a tod­dler, prose­cu­tors out­lined in court pa­pers re­leased this week.

Ti­mothy O’Con­nell, 51, of Drexel Hill, is now fac­ing fed­eral charges of re­ceiv­ing child pornog­ra­phy in con­nec­tion with the case.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to O’Con­nell’s ar­rest be­gan in Fe­bru­ary when an­other man, Justyn Perez Colon, is al­leged to have trans­mit­ted an im­age to an un­der­cover FBI agent.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, in Fe­bru­ary 2018, O’Con­nell com­mu­ni­cated with Perez-Colon about the sex­ual exploitation of chil­dren. On Feb. 14, Perez-Colon, prose­cu­tors al­leged, trans­mit­ted an ex­plicit im­age of the tod­dler to an un­der­cover FBI agent. While be­ing in­ter­viewed, Perez-Con­nell ad­mit­ted to hav­ing sent the photos and videos of the girl to at least three or four other peo­ple us­ing the Kik app on his phone.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say when they an­a­lyzed the phone be­long­ing to Perez-Colon, he was com­mu­tat­ing with a per­son later iden­ti­fied as O’Con­nell.

Af­ter hav­ing re­ceived an im­age of the tod­dler, O’Con­nell is al­leged to have mes­saged back, “Cool. She is cute,” ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments. Im­ages were then trans­mit­ted back to O’Con­nell with what in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieved were screen­shots of web­pages show­ing im­ages of pre-pubescent chil­dren. These im­ages in­cluded a naked tod­dler about 1 or 2 years of age.

O’Con­nell was quoted by prose­cu­tors as mes­sag­ing back, say­ing, “Yes I’ve seen be­fore those were the type I was talk­ing about.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say the Kik ac­count that is al­leged to have been used by O’Con­nell was reg­is­tered in Fe­bru­ary. The ac­count was ac­cessed us­ing a pre­paid cell phone. The ac­count was also ac­cessed from O’Con­nell’s Drexel Hill home. The email ad­dress used for the Kik ac­count was ac­cessed at both O’Con­nell’s home and through a se­cured Vil­lanova Univer­sity ac­count, prose­cu­tors said in court pa­pers.

In early July, a search war­rant was is­sued for O’Con­nell’s home, his cam­pus of­fice and two ve­hi­cles he used.

Ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors, when be­ing in­ter­viewed by the FBI on July 10, O’Con­nell ad­mit­ted to us­ing var­i­ous Kik ac­counts and email ac­counts to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers about the exploitation of chil­dren. He also ad­mit­ted to re­ceiv­ing the spe­cific im­age of the tod­dler.

Univer­sity of­fi­cials re­leased a state­ment fol­low­ing O’Con­nell’s ar­rest.

“Vil­lanova Univer­sity is ap­palled and hor­ri­fied by these al­le­ga­tions,” it reads. “The univer­sity has sus­pended this in­di­vid­ual and he is not per­mit­ted to re­turn to cam­pus. Vil­lanova is fully co­op­er­at­ing with the FBI in its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”



Ti­mothy O’Con­nell, 51, of Drexel Hill, is now fac­ing fed­eral charges of re­ceiv­ing child pornog­ra­phy in con­nec­tion with the case.

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