Glassport man waives child porn charges
A Glassport man waived his preliminary hearing on Tuesday on child pornography charges.
Michael G. Hadam, 59, is charged by the state attorney general's office with 35 felony counts, including 30 of possession of child pornography, four of distributing it and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
“In Michael's best interest it was appropriate to waive the case on to the next level so we can get to the meat and the heart of the case and to see how the case will be resolved in the Court of Common Pleas,” Hadam's attorney Charles LoPresti said.
Hadam was returned to Allegheny County Jail after his appearance before Magisterial District Judge Armand Martin, who set formal arraignment for July 17 at 1 p.m. at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh.
“In District Judge Martin's office you always get a very fair and balanced preliminary hearing,” LoPresti said. However, given that “we are not privy to the real evidence in the case, the reports, the narratives, the background information in the case,” the Jefferson Hills attorney said it would be in his client's best interest to take the case downtown.
At LoPresti's recommendation Martin reduced Hadam's bond from $250,000 to $25,000 and set a series of restrictions on Hadam. He ordered the suspect to refrain from online activities, have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, have a mental health assessment and follow the recommendations for treatment and have no access to firearms.
“The judge well considered my arguments and I think on balance the bond that he set is a fair and proper bond,” LoPresti said, adding he “wholeheartedly agreed” with the conditions which will allow Hadam “to rejoin his family, work with me and take advantage” of the mental health assessment.
According to the attorney general's office, agents from its Child Predator Section along with Glassport police arrested Hadam on May 15 after an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography.
According to the criminal complaint in Hadam's case, agents intercepted and downloaded numerous files which depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses and tracked the files to Hadam's computer.
Those agents then executed a search of Hadam's home. The attorney general's office said a number of electronic media devices were seized, including an external hard drive that had more than half a million files containing suspected child pornography, including images of children as young as infants in various stages of undress.
“You have a very experienced network in the attorney general's office of agents who worked on this case,” LoPresti said. “I don't find routinely that the attorney general's office has missed a trick in the construction of their case.”
Hadam was one of five arrested in the latest round of an ongoing crackdown. Charges were filed in separate cases against Hadam; Joseph Bailey, 42, of York; Bryan Zaharko, 32, of Castle Shannon; Christopher Blackwell, 32, of Pittsburgh; and Matthew Cooper, 25, of Burgettstown.
Bailey waived a hearing on 11 child porn counts and one firearms violation; Zaharko's hearing on 12 child porn and two drug-related counts was continued until June 17; Blackwell's hearing on 11 child porn counts was continued until July 14; and 12 child porn charges were held against Cooper at a hearing last week.
All but Cooper are free on bond.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.