A band director at Williams Valley High School has been arrested and charged with 10 counts of possessing child pornography.
Leroy Johns Jr., 43, of 405 Dietrich Ave., Porter Township, was charged July 28 by state police Trooper Paul M. Smith of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Harrisburg. He was arraigned the following day by Magisterial District Judge Carol A. Pankake, Tremont, and released on $35,000 unsecured bail.
In his affidavit of probable cause, Smith said the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Service contacted him regarding its investigation into Web sites Johns was allegedly accessing that involved child exploitation.
When interviewed July 2, Smith said Johns admitted he used credit cards to buy access to Internet sites that contained pornography and also acknowledged his definition of child pornography was naked images of subjects less than 18 years of age.
Johns gave consent to have his computer and two external hard drives examined at his home. After several images were discovered of suspected child pornography, naked females, the computer and drives were seized, Smith said.
Johns admitted that he used the phrases “topless 16” and “topless under 18” when searching the Internet for pornography, the trooper said.
Smith added that a forensic examination on one of the hard drives revealed 15 images and 10 movie files that contained naked images of children under the age of 18.
The test also identified the Google search engine Web site term that Johns used, “topless models under age 18.” Smith said the images were then examined by Dr. Andl Toroli, director of Pegasus, Carbondale, a child advocacy center, who determined the movie clips and images were child pornography.
There was no indication in the charges that Johns had any inappropriate contact with Williams Valley students, however district officials would not discuss the case Tuesday.
“On the advice of our school attorney, we have no comment,” Olga Ehrhart, Williams Valley School District superintendent, said Tuesday.
A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Aug. 24 before Pankake. Preliminary hearings scheduled for Aug. 6, 13 and 20 were continued.