Advertisement

Man faces child pornography charges

June 08, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 21-year-old New Jersey man charged with having hundreds of child pornography photos on his computer while a student at the Penn State Mont Alto campus waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court and was scheduled for mandatory arraignment July 27.

Richard Li of Flanders, N.J., is charged by campus police with one count of sexual abuse of a child, a third-degree misdemeanor, Assistant District Attorney Bret Palmer said. He could face up to seven years in prison if convicted, she said.

The affidavit of probable cause stated that the photos were found Sept. 28, 2004, on Li's computer when another student tried to use it to look up a grade that had been e-mailed for one of his classes. The student told investigators that "thumbnail" photos of young boys appeared on the screen when he used the computer.

Advertisement

The student reported the incident to the campus Judicial Affairs Office a few days later. Penn State police obtained a search warrant for the dorm room on Oct. 18 and seized the computer, according to the affidavit. In December, university police got another search warrant to have a Penn State Computer Response Team member do a forensic investigation of the computer's contents.

In March, a main campus security and systems analyst reported finding 15 "cookies," or files from commercial child pornographic Web sites on the computer hard drive, according to the affidavit. Some of the photographs depicted boys engaging in sex, police said.

Palmer alleged that 340 photos were found on the computer with 271 "depicting young males in various sexually graphic poses."

Although Li was charged with just one count, Palmer said that "under the statue, each picture could be charged as one count." Li had been cooperative with university police during the investigation, she said.

Palmer said it was her first Internet pornography case in three years with the county, but District Attorney John F. Nelson said there have been "a handful" in recent years, including some sting operations conducted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|