Child pornography trial begins for New Kensington man
Two computers siezed three years ago from a New Kensington home contained as many as 20,000 child pornography images, state prosecutors told Westmoreland County jurors Monday.
Joshua Pottle, 37, was identified in 2015 as a person of interest during a statewide undercover investigation into an internet file-sharing network, Deputy Attorney General Jessel A. Costa III said in her opening statement. Investigators found thousands of child pornography files on a laptop and desk computers discovered in his home as part of the probe, she said.
Pottle is charged with 40 counts for the alleged possessing and disseminating of the images found on those computers.
“He made statements at the time we served the search warrant that he owned the computers and used file sharing (software). The defendant refers to himself as a collector of child pornography,” Costa told jurors.
Pottle is representing himself in the trial before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway.
Dressed in a suit with hair down to his waist, Pottle offered no indication of a defense during his opening statement but apologized for his appearance.
“I’d rather you judge me as I am. Judge me for who I am, not how I look,” Pottle said.
Prosecutors said they expect to present three witnesses when testimony begins Tuesday.
Pottle last month rejected a plea bargain in which he would have received a sentence of 12 1/2-t0-25 years in prison. If convicted of all 40 counts, Pottle is likely to receive a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 25 years in prison, according to prosecutors.