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Referee accused of having child porn

| Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005

Police said they found dozens of child pornography movies stored on a computer during a raid at a high school referee's home in Verona.

Harold Stancliffe, 58, of Penn Street, was charged last week with 43 counts of sexual abuse of children, 43 counts of criminal use of a communication facility, and possession of prohibited offensive weapons.

Greensburg police, who obtained a warrant to search Stancliffe's residence during an investigation into the distribution of child pornography over the Internet, said they discovered 43 movies on his computer depicting minor children in sexual acts.

None of the children is believed to be from Western Pennsylvania, police said.

"Our officer logged on and was contacted by the individual and shared some of his movies," said Greensburg police Capt. George Seranko. "When the officer checked it, it was child pornography."

During the search, police said they also discovered a .32-caliber pistol and brass knuckles.

Stancliffe is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction, according to police. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and insurance fraud, court records state.

Stancliffe worked as a baseball, football and basketball official in Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs and Westmoreland County, co-workers said.

"I'm shocked," said Regis Giles, assistant director of the Westmoreland Basketball Officials Association. "We've never had any complaints of that nature against him. I've been around him and never heard any off-color comments."

Stancliffe did not referee basketball last season because of knee problems. Giles estimated that Stancliffe probably officiated for 35 to 40 schools over the past 10 years at junior high and high school games.

Stancliffe was arraigned before District Judge James Albert, of Greensburg, and released after posting $7,500 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Greensburg police were assisted in the investigation by the state police, Verona police and the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

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