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Campus ministry ex-director pleads guilty in child porn case

June 11, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former campus minister at Villanova University awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to receiving child pornography.

Federal prosecutors said the plea on Tuesday by 52-year-old Timothy O’Connell of Drexel Hill involved obtaining images that depicted the sexual abuse and exploitation of pre-pubescent children.

One of the victims was a 2-year-old child identified by the FBI in another investigation.

O’Connell is the former associate director of campus ministry at the school. His lawyer, Heather Mattes, says he was terminated by Villanova.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain calls the case particularly disturbing because O’Connell was a spiritual leader who was trusted on campus.

Mattes says O’Connell is remorseful and will have more to say when he’s sentenced, which is currently scheduled for October.

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