Ex-Seton prof gets 15 years in prison
A former Seton Hill professor who pleaded guilty to producing child pornography will spend 15 years in prison and the rest of his life on probation, U.S. District Judge David Cercone ruled Wednesday.
Balazs Tarnai, 36, of Unity, admitted to ordering DVDs of child pornography from a Los Angeles-based mail-order company and to secretly recording four boys — ages 5, 10, 12 and 13 — while they were using two bathrooms in his home.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar said police examined Tarnai's computer files and found thousands of images and videos of young boys engaged in sexual acts.
The police found 12 homemade videos and 26 pictures of the four boys on Tarnai's computer, she said.
Tarnai, a Hungarian national who was in the country on a work visa, was sentenced as part of a plea bargain. He was immediately suspended and was later fired by the university on Nov. 28, 2011.
According to Smolar, on Feb. 9, 2011, Tarnai, who lived alone, ordered a DVD and a free preview reel of child pornography online from a fictitious company set up by law enforcement officials as part of an undercover operation targeting individuals who previously purchased material considered child pornography.
The materials he purchased were described in a catalog as depicting young boys engaged in various acts of sexually explicit conduct, Smolar said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, postal inspectors prepared a priority mail package containing two movies with sexually explicit content requiring signature confirmation from Tarnai, who had worked at the university in Greensburg since 2008.
Smolar said the package containing the DVDs was delivered to Tarnai in March at his residence by a postal inspector impersonating a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier.
A search warrant was immediately executed at the residence and the former professor's laptop computer and numerous DVDs and CDs were seized.
Smolar told Cercone that Tarnai admitted to investigators during questioning that day that the video “crossed the line.”
Brian Bowling and Paul Peirce are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Bowling can be reached at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com. Peirce can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.