The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 14, 2013

City man facing trial on child porn charges

JOHNSTOWN — A Johnstown man will appear in Cambria County court to face child pornography charges.

Coty Justus Melendez, 22, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday before District Judge Michael Musulin of Johnstown.

State police in Punxsutawney were conducting an online investigation into file sharing of child pornography when they found Melendez.

In a criminal complaint, troopers said that on Jan. 30 they located a computer via the IP address that was allegedly sharing computer depictions of child pornography.

Troopers were able to download files from the computer. Troopers obtained a court order that was “served upon Atlantic Broadband compelling them to furnish subscriber information for the IP address in question,” according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators seized 30 computer files of child pornography.

Melendez, of the 300 block of Ebensburg Road, was charged with 39 counts of sexual abuse of children, nine counts each of obscene and other sexual material and invasion of privacy.

He also was charged with one count each of criminal use of a communication facility and possessing instrument of crime.

“It’s extremely serious,” said Beth Bolton Penna, Cambria County assistant district attorney.

“We have over 30 computer depictions of children on both pictures and movies. This is somebody who downloaded a lot of information.”

Some of the images showed children being raped, she said.

“It’s important to let people know that we will prosecute,” she added

Melendez remains free on $25,000 unsecured bond.

He is represented by Cambria County Public Defender Maribeth Schaffer.

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