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Saudi IUP student charged with having child porn

| Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, 11:22 p.m.

A Saudi Arabian national attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania was charged on Friday with five felony counts of possession of child pornography, following an investigation by county detectives.

Omar Mohammed Alghamdi, 24, of Oakland Avenue, Indiana, was arraigned before District Judge George Thachik and placed in the Indiana County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling confirmed that Alghamdi was registered at the university.

According to a release from Detective Robert Erdely, a report from another law enforcement agency triggered the investigation. That report involved a complaint of inappropriate contact between an adult and a child via a mobile device, the release stated.

The office of Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty and borough police executed a search warrant at Alghamdi's apartment at 6:10 a.m. Friday. A computer, mobile phone and other storage media were seized.

Images of children as young as 6 years old performing sex acts were found on Alghamdi's computerized data, the release stated.

The incidents under investigation date back to 2011.

The original allegation of unlawful contact with a child remains under investigation.

“I'm confident other charges will be filed,” Erdely said on Friday.

Dougherty said his office was contacted by law enforcement in another state, which he declined to identify.

“Our office is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which Detective Erdely is assigned to,” he said.

“A child had (allegedly) received images of a sexual nature from (Alghamdi),” Dougherty said.

His office was notified because Alghamdi is living in Indiana Borough.

“We need to tie up some loose ends with the other jurisdiction,” he said.

In an October interview with the IUP publication The Penn, Alghamdi is identified as a freshman marketing major.

Alghamdi is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Thachik on Tuesday.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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