Crime

Judge orders detention for State College man awaiting trial on child porn charges

A federal judge has ordered the detention pending trial of a State College man indicted in November on child pornography charges.

U.S. Middle District Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle III on Tuesday found Alexander Pringle, 32, of Blue Course Drive, had violated terms of his house arrest by using Facebook to send texts in late January that threatened violence and inferred jury tampering.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey MacArthur pointed out the texts were sent despite Pringle being aware a program had been installed to monitor his computer.

Pringle’s Williamsport attorney, Kyle W. Rude, claimed the texts were a sense of frustration over being indicted and not actual threats.

MacArthur said the texts threatened the agents whose investigation led to the child pornography indictment and the community in general if Pringle would be found guilty.

In one of the text, ISIS was referred to as pedophiles, the prosecutor said.

Arbuckle pointed out Pringle could have violated the terms when he resumed drinking, but it was overlooked. A prohibition on consuming alcoholic beverages was one of the terms of his release.

The judge explained when he released Pringle in November, that he thought he would get the help he needed for his drinking problem and work through the charges.

Arbuckle found Pringle not only violated terms of his release, but that there was probable cause he committed another crime.

The text messages were placed under seal because of an ongoing investigation.

The child pornography charges allege between June 30, 2010, and April 29, 2011, he possessed images and videos of children younger than 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and that on at least once occasion distributed a visual depiction of the same thing.

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