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Trial ordered in Charleroi child pornography case

| Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:16 a.m.
Edward J. Campion Jr., is escorted from the offices of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi Tuesday after a scheduled preliminary hearing.
Chris Buckley
Edward J. Campion Jr., is escorted from the offices of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi Tuesday after a scheduled preliminary hearing.
Edward J. Campion Jr., is escorted from the offices of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi Tuesday after a scheduled preliminary hearing.
Chris Buckley
Edward J. Campion Jr., is escorted from the offices of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi Tuesday after a scheduled preliminary hearing.

A former New York man living in Charleroi for the past 16 months will remain in the Washington County Correctional Facility despite a request to reduce his bond.

Edward J. Campion Jr. now faces trial on felony charges alleging he downloaded more than 1,000 images and 200 videos depicting child pornography.

Campion, 41, of 405½ Crest Ave., waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday on 21 counts of possession of child pornography and 18 counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

He appeared Monday before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi.

He was arrested April 1 by agents with the state Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

The charges stem from an investigation that began Feb. 10 after investigators received a cyber tipline report through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The report was initiated by photobucket.com, an image and video hosting site that allows users to upload content anonymously, according to the affidavit.

Campion allegedly uploaded a video of a young girl – approximately age 6 to 8 – in a sexual act with an adult male.

Agents received an Allegheny County court order for Verizon Internet Services records and identified Campion as the person who downloaded the video, according to the affidavit.

Agents and state police searched Campion's residence April 1, seizing two laptop computers, a computer hard drive and two flash drives, all allegedly owned by the suspect.

The photographs and videos portrayed girls from infant to about age 12 engaged in sexual acts with adult men and a dog. The children are bound and gagged in some of the videos, the affidavit states.

Washington County Public Defender Russell Korner asked Hopkins to release Campion on unsecured bond.

Korner said Campion voluntarily returned from his native New York to face charges when contacted by Pennsylvania authorities.

“Your honor, I'm not going anywhere,” Campion said. “I moved to Pennsylvania for a job.

“As soon as I got called, I finished what I had to do and packed and came back. I did not even have a chance to wish my dad a happy birthday.

“I'll come here every day if you like. I'll do whatever to get my life back together. I've gone through a rough period.”

But Deputy Attorney General Anthony M. Marmo noted that Campion is unemployed and facing a third-degree felony.

Instead of reducing bond, Hopkins increased it from $100,000 to $250,000.

“I consider this serious,” Hopkins told Campion.

“I certainly don't want you to go to New York.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com

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