Lim­er­ick man awaits sen­tenc­ing on child porn charges

The Phoenix - - NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @mont­co­court­news on Twit­ter

NOR­RIS­TOWN >> A Lim­er­ick man is await­ing his fate from a judge and faces a psy­cho­sex­ual eval­u­a­tion af­ter he ad­mit­ted to dis­sem­i­nat­ing child pornog­ra­phy on his home com­puter equip­ment.

John Paul Roetling, 39, of the first block of Light­cap Road, pleaded guilty in Mont­gomery County Court to two felony counts of sex­ual abuse of chil­dren dis­sem­i­nat­ing child pornog­ra­phy in con­nec­tion with in­ci­dents that oc­curred be­tween De­cem­ber 2016 and Fe­bru­ary 2017. Judge Risa Vetri Fer­man de­ferred sen­tenc­ing so that court of­fi­cials can com­plete a back­ground in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port about Roetling, in­clud­ing drug, al­co­hol, men­tal health and psy­cho­sex­ual eval­u­a­tions.

Roetling, who re­mains free on bail pend­ing sen­tenc­ing, faces a pos­si­ble max­i­mum sen­tence of seven to 14 years in pri­son on the charges. How­ever, state sen­tenc­ing guide­lines could al­low for a lesser sen­tence.

Roetling also faces an eval­u­a­tion by the Penn­syl­va­nia Sex­ual Of­fend­ers As­sess­ment Board, which will de­ter­mine if he meets cri­te­ria to be clas­si­fied as a sex­u­ally vi­o­lent preda­tor. Those clas­si­fied as preda­tors face more strin­gent re­stric­tions while on pa­role or pro­ba­tion, in­clud­ing manda­tory coun­sel­ing and com­mu­nity notification about their liv­ing ar­range­ments.

Re­gard­less of the state board’s find­ings, Roetling will face a manda­tory re­quire­ment to re­port his ad­dress to state po­lice for 25 years.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Roetling be­gan on Dec. 6, 2016, when a de­tec­tive con­duct­ing on­line In­ter­net in­ves­ti­ga­tions to iden­tify those pos­sess­ing and shar­ing child pornog­ra­phy lo­cated a com­puter, later linked to Roetling, which was shar­ing files of child pornog­ra­phy via a file shar­ing net­work.

A de­tec­tive was able to make a di­rect con­nec­tion to the com­puter and ini­ti­ated a down­load of ma­te­ri­als from the sus­pect com­puter, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed by Abing­ton De­tec­tive Rick Beagh­ley, who is a spe­cial county de­tec­tive as­signed to in­ves­ti­gate In­ter­net crimes against chil­dren.

Be­tween Dec. 6, 2016, and Jan. 17, 2017, de­tec­tives down­loaded 11 video files that de­picted fe­male chil­dren un­der the age of 18 en­gaged in sex­ual acts or poses. Some of the chil­dren were as young as 7, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate. In­ves­ti­ga­tors also un­cov­ered 283 im­age files of mul­ti­ple girls, ages 7 to 15, in var­i­ous stages of nu­dity or en­gaged in sex­ual acts or poses, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors ob­tained a war­rant to con­duct a search of Roetling’s home on Feb. 23, 2017. When de­tec­tives asked Roetling if he knew any rea­son why they would be at his res­i­dence he al­legedly replied, “Yes, be­cause I have been down­load­ing things that I should not be,” ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

“John fur­ther stated that he has been down­load­ing child pornog­ra­phy for about the last four to five years,” Beagh­ley al­leged, adding Roetling ad­mit­ted to in­stalling file shar­ing soft­ware on his com­puter which was ca­pa­ble of down­load­ing child pornog­ra­phy, shar­ing files and “pi­rat­ing some.”

“He ad­mit­ted that he mas­tur­bated to the child pornog­ra­phy files and that he was the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the files I had down­loaded from his res­i­dence. Roetling stated that he tried to delete all of his child pornog­ra­phy files as he did not want to be a ‘mon­ster’ and was ashamed of him­self,” Beagh­ley al­leged.

Au­thor­i­ties seized com­puter equip­ment from Roetling’s bed­room and a foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion un­cov­ered “nu­mer­ous” im­ages of child erot­ica, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.