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Connellsville man to serve year in jail in child porn case

| Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

A Connellsville man will serve three months to a year in jail under terms of a plea bargain for possession of child pornography.

Justin Porterfield, 21, of 123 W. Apple St., Apt. 4, entered guilty pleas on Monday to dissemination and possession of child pornography.

In exchange for the guilty plea, District Attorney Jack Heneks agreed to drop the dissemination charge and recommended the jail sentence, followed by five years' probation.

State police in Delaware County discovered three images of child pornography on Porterfield's computer during an online search on March 12, 2010. Heneks said about 37 videos depicting child pornography had been deleted, but investigators were still able to retrieve them.

During the hearing, Porterfield admitted to having the images on his computer.

His attorney, Donna McClelland of Greensburg, said Porterfield was using a file-sharing program that allowed others to access the images from his computer after he downloaded them.

“Once you download it, it makes it available to other people, who can pull it off your computer,” McClelland said. “When Mr. Porterfield was downloading some of these images, state police pulled them off his hard drive.”

Although investigators initially indicated there were as many as 260 images of child pornography on Porterfield's laptop, McClelland described the number as “minimal.”

Lt. David Peifer, supervisor of the Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, testified during an earlier hearing that he was working with a Delaware County grand jury that was investigating child pornography when he discovered the images on Porterfield's computer.

Porterfield faces a Megan's Law hearing and sentencing 9:15 a.m. Oct. 12 before Judge John F. Wagner Jr. He is free on $10,000 bond.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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