Man charged with sharing child pornography on Instagram

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Summerville man is facing multiple felony charges after state police say he traded child pornography over the internet.

49-year-old Joel Saylor was arraigned Thursday on 18 felony counts that include child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility after a tip was received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from Instagram in December 2019. This led to an investigation by state police, according to charges filed before Magisterial District Judge Gregory M.Bazylak.

State police concluded the two photos and one video reported by Instagram were child pornography. A search warrant was executed at Saylor’s home and one of his Instagram accounts in late October.

In all, state police allege Saylor possessed nine photos or videos depicting child pornography and had distributed eight of them.

When questioned on October 23 at his home, Saylor allegedly confessed to state police that he became “bored” watching adult pornography and he slowly got interested in child modeling and then child pornography. He admitted the Instagram account that was reported belonged to him and he presumed he had been locked out of it after sending child pornography, state police noted in the charges.

Saylor also alleged to investigators that he made multiple accounts on Instagram using fake names so he had backup accounts when they were shut down by Instagram and had traded child pornography with other users he would follow and message when they posted photos of young children.

Saylor was released on an unsecured $50,000 bond after his arraignment on Thursday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 5.

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