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Prison for retired minister, 73, who left child porn in York County home

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A retired minister must spend three months in York County Prison for possessing child pornography.

Robert Leon, 73, now of Ajo, Arizona, appeared in York County Court on Tuesday, where he was sentenced to three to 23 months in county prison, plus three years of probation, according to court records.

He was remanded to prison after the hearing, records state.

Leon pleaded guilty Oct. 26 to the felony of possession of child pornography, according to court records.

"Obviously these charges are very serious and Mr. Leon treated them as such from the get-go," said his Lancaster-based attorney, Victor Myers. "We worked diligently with the district attorney's office to reach what I feel was a very fair and respectable plea offer, given the facts of the case."

Robert Leon

Myers said his client has taken responsibility for his actions and that it was an isolated incident.

"It's not an indication of who he is as an individual," the attorney said.

Images left behind: Leon, a retired United Methodist Church minister from Maine, left behind 37 explicit images at his former Chanceford Township home when he moved out in 2017, according to court documents.

State police said 15 of those images had minors in them.

Leon's landlord alerted authorities in September 2017 after finding the images stuffed behind a bedroom nightstand after Leon and his wife had moved out of their former home on Sechrist Flat Road in Chanceford Township, documents state.

The Leons lived there for five or six years before moving back to Arizona, police have said.

One of the pornographic images was printed on the back of a banking statement for the United Methodist Church pension, court documents state.

In April 2018, Leon told an FBI agent that the pictures were likely his and that some of the pictures looked familiar, officials have said. He also told investigators he used moderated sites so he would not access images of underage people by accident.

"Leon advised he was mainly into cartoons and 'clever' pornography that made him laugh or that was different," Trooper Nikki Gundel wrote in court documents.

Leon admitted to liking younger adults and older teens, officials said.

Police spoke to his wife, who said she knew he looked at pornography on his computer and that the printed images were mostly cartoons that she did not think were offensive, court documents state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.