Delco Sunday school teacher arrested for child pornography
Police in Delaware County arrested Parkside, Pa. Sunday school teacher and basketball coach Steven Almond, 54, for allegedly possessing child pornography.
An official with the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division Task Force’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit found suspicious files June 6 as he was using the ARES peer-to-peer file sharing network to identify possible child pornography offenders, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The detective downloaded two video files – one of a man performing sex acts on a girl estimated to be between 10 and 12 years of age, and a second showing a prepubescent girl fondling herself, the affidavit states.
A further investigation allegedly identified nine additional files from the same IP address believed to be of investigative interest.
A public records check revealed the IP address was assigned to Verizon Online, LLC.
The detective obtained a court order directing the company to identify the subscriber, which allegedly led police to Almond.
Police executed a search warrant on Almond’s Forestview Road residence June 13.
Investigators said Almond waived his rights and agreed to speak with officers.
He allegedly admitted to having downloaded about 30 child pornography videos to his computer, stating he believed the youngest child in the films to be 13 or 14 years old.
Police said Almond told them he used a program called Download Beast and said while he knew it was illegal to pay for child pornography, he did not think it was illegal to download it for free, as it is already in the public domain.
Almond also allegedly told investigators he is a deacon for the Middletown Presbyterian Church, where he teaches Sunday School, as well as a coach for the Upward Bound Basketball League.
Almond maintained he has never had any inappropriate physical contact with children.
Investigators seized from Almond’s residence four computers, a portable hard drive, two USB flash drives, three cell phones and 22 DVDs.
A preliminary investigation of the items allegedly turned up more than 50 videos believed to be child pornography.
Some of the videos depict children that appear to be under 5 years old, according to the affidavit.
Almond surrendered at 9 a.m. Thursday and was arraigned around noon.
He is charged with the dissemination of photos or films of child sex acts, the sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communications facility.
Almond was on Thursday being held at the Delaware County Prison on $350,000 cash bail.