Crime

Man charged with child pornography worked for school district

The Taylor Township man arraigned Monday on child pornography charges worked as a custodian with the State College Area School District.

Adam Hinton, 25, of Port Matilda, faces 535 counts of possession of child pornography and the same number of counts of dissemination of the material using online peer-to-peer file-sharing software BitTorrent.

Troopers with the state police Computer Crime Unit executed a search warrant at about 5 p.m. Thursday at the South Eagle Valley Road home where Hinton lives and found he was not there, according to court documents.

Troopers met with Ferguson Township police officers in the parking lot of Radio Park Elementary School, where a vehicle matching Hinton’s was found. A laptop was in plain sight on the front passenger seat and troopers seized it as evidence, according to court documents. Police interviewed Hinton at about 7 p.m. Thursday in the school parking lot, police said.

Human resources minutes from the school board’s March 17, 2014, meeting indicate Hinton had been hired by the district as a substitute custodian to work “as needed.”

School district spokesman Chris Rosenblum said Hinton worked some evenings for the district but is no longer an employee. He resigned this week, Rosenblum said, and his last day at work was Thursday, the day state police interviewed him and took his laptop at Radio Park.

“He never had an account to access district-owned technology nor the district’s information technology network,” Rosenblum said in an emailed statement. He said the district could not comment further, citing the ongoing state police investigation.

Police said a hard drive taken from the laptop contained 535 images in a folder titled “toddlers, babies, little girls pthc pics.” All the images in the folder depicted child sex abuse, with the majority showing infants, according to court documents.

“PTHC” is an acronym for preteen hard core, said Trooper Jeff Petucci, spokesman for Troop G.

Hinton was arraigned before District Judge Allen Sinclair on Monday and is held at Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is also charged with 535 counts of displaying obscene materials and a felony count of criminal use of a communication facility.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 10.

An attorney for Hinton was not listed on court documents.

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