Head football coach in Pa. arrested on child porn charges

Head football coach in Pa. arrested on child porn charges

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Head football coach in Pa. arrested on child porn charges

The head football coach at a Western Pa. high school was arrested on child porn charges Thursday morning.

State police said Russell Barley, the 59-year-old and head football coach at Freedom (Pa.) Area Senior High School, was taken into custody at his Chippewa Township home and was awaiting arraignment by District Judge Timothy Finn, per WTAE and other outlets.

“To our knowledge, no Freedom Area School District students were involved in Mr. Barley’s actions,” Superintendent Jeffrey Fuller said in a written statement obtained by WTAE. “Mr. Barley has been suspended from his position as head coach of the Freedom Bulldog football team, effective immediately. He subsequently resigned his position with the Freedom Area School District. Because this is an ongoing legal and personnel matter, the Freedom Area School District will have no further comment.”

WTAE confirmed Barley was also a teacher in the Neshannock School District in New Castle, Pa. The district posted the following message on its website Thursday:

“The Neshannock Township School District has been informed that a District teacher, Russell Barley, has been arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police and arraigned on charges associated with the possession and distribution of child pornography. The employee was immediately suspended from his position at Neshannock Township School District, and has subsequently notified the district of his immediate resignation from the District.

After speaking with the PA State Police we were informed that no Neshannock Township School District students were involved, nor was district equipment or resources used.

Because this is an ongoing legal and personnel matter, the Neshannock Township School District will have no further comment at this time.”

Police told WTAE and other outlets that Barley’s arrest came as the result of an “ongoing undercover” investigation.

Per WTAE, state troopers arrived at his home with a search warrant Thursday. Barley spoke with them, saying that he “became curious about child pornography and downloaded videos of it using Bit Torrent,” according to the criminal complaint obtained by media.

“The defendant advised that he did not share any videos or pictures of child pornography but investigators advised that when using the Bit Torrent program you share files that you download with other users,” according to the complaint. “The defendant advised that he has since deleted many of the videos that he downloaded because he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

On Barley’s desktop computer in the home, investigators found a video file of “nude child modeling” that showed “a 14-year-old girl topless in a g-string” as well as her buttocks and pubic area, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Barley is charged with three felony counts: dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films; sexual abuse of children; and criminal use of a communication facility.

According to The Times Online, Freedom athletic director John Rosa will serve as interim head coach.

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Head football coach in Pa. arrested on child porn charges
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