Clintonville Man Waives Hearing on Child Pornography Charges

| February 14, 2020

CLINTONVILLE BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Clintonville man waived his hearing Wednesday on felony charges following an investigation that uncovered over 100 images and videos of child pornography.

Court documents indicate the following charges against 63-year-old Daniel Leroy Whitmer were waived for court on Wednesday, February 12:

– Child Pornography, Felony 3 (50 counts)
– Disseminate Photo/Film of Child Sex Acts, Felony 3 (five counts)
– Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

The charges have been transferred to the Venango County Court of Common Pleas.

Whitmer remains free on $10,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an undercover investigation into online child pornography.

According to a criminal complaint, on November 25, 2018, Corporal Sours, of the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crime Unit, was conducting an undercover investigation into the internet sharing of child pornography and was able to locate a computer that was sharing child pornography on the eMule file-sharing network using client software, which was reported as Shareaza. Corporal Sours determined that the user of this computer system configured his eMule client software to share files.

The complaint states Sours was subsequently able to download digital files from the user, including a video file depicting a female child, approximately 12 to 14 years of age, shown fully nude, posing and speaking her legs wide, displaying her genitals.

According to the complaint, the IP address assigned to the computer determined it was assigned to the internet service provider Armstrong Cable. Then, on November 26, 2018, an Administrative Subpoena was prepared and served on Armstrong Cable for the subscriber information. The subscriber came back as a known woman at a Butler Street, Clintonville address.

A search warrant was prepared and served at the address.

The complaint stated it was then determined that Daniel Whitmer was the suspect in the investigation, though he was not home at the time the warrant was served. Related items were then seized from the residence, and police traveled to a local nursing home, where Whitmer was recovering from a medical procedure, to interview him.

According to the complaint, Whitmer confessed to possessing and viewing child pornography but said he had since deleted everything from his devices. He allegedly stated he knew what he was doing was wrong, and because of that, he stopped viewing and possessing the child pornography and deleted all of the videos and images.

The items that were seized were logged into evidence at the Marienville-based State Police barracks, then transported to the Pennsylvania State Police Northwest Computer Crime Task Force Office, where a computer forensic examination could be conducted.

A forensic examination was then conducted on all of the devices seized from the residence and from Whitmer.

According to the complaint, it was determined that Whitmer did delete the videos and images from his devices, but they were able to be recovered during the forensic examination.

The complaint states over 100 images and videos were recovered that showed girls under the age of 18 posing nude and displaying their breasts and genitals.

Whitmer was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 3.

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