House arrest for Seven Valleys-area man who collected child porn
A Seven Valleys-area man who downloaded more than a thousand images of child pornography over an eight-year period while living in his parents' basement has been sentenced to house arrest.
William Ernest Collins IV, 26, of Countryside Road in Springfield Township, was sentenced Monday to five years of sexual-offender probation, with the first six months on house arrest, according to deputy prosecutor Diana Spurlin.
He also must register with the state as a Megan's Law sex offender for 15 years, she said.
Sexual-offender probation conditions are rigorous, Spurlin said.
Probations officers will be able to search Collins' home at any time without any advance notice, the prosecutor said.
And because Collins' crime involved a computer, he is prohibited from accessing the Internet for any reason, according to Spurlin.
Prior to starting a new job, Collins' probation officer must first determine it would not place him near children, she said.
His probation conditions will severely restrict his ability to interact with minors, Spurlin said.
Collins pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to the third-degree felony of possessing child pornography, according to court records.
The background: Trooper Jonathan Colarusso said he began investigating Collins after Northern York County Regional Police Detective Mark Baker alerted state police to Collins' alleged online activity.
Baker is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, according to Northern Regional Lt. David Lash.
Baker learned of Collins' activities during his routine work with the task force, according to Lash. Because Collins lives outside Northern Regional jurisdiction, it was handed off to state police, Colarusso said.
Home searched: State police, armed with a warrant, searched the Collins home in July 2014 and found images of nude and partially nude prepubescent girls photographed in sexually suggestive positions, according to court documents.
Collins told troopers he downloaded child porn from the Internet for about eight years and estimated he downloaded more than 1,000 images, documents state.
He also said his parents were unaware of what he was doing, according to police.
"Collins IV advised that he has always wanted to go to therapy for his addiction to child pornography because he knows that it's wrong," documents state.
Defense attorney Chris Ferro did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.