Punxsy Man Busted for Child Pornography; Tells Police ‘This Was His Dirty Little Secret’

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man is behind bars following a Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s investigation into Cyber Tips related to child pornography.

Court documents indicate the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General filed the following criminal charges against 59-year-old Peter A. Hayes:

– Child Pornography, Felony 2 (twenty counts)
– Criminal Use of Communication Facility, Felony 3

According to a criminal complaint, on April 24, 2019, the Office of Attorney General Child Predator Section opened a case on eight related Cyber Tips, which were all generated by the Microsoft Corporation with one upload for each tip.

On July 26, 2019, five additional Cyber Tips were received by a Senior Special Agent for the Child Predator Section of the Western Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, which were also generated by Microsoft Corporation and were associated with the same case.

Finally, on September 10, 2019, two additional Cyber Tips were also generated by Microsoft Corporation for the same case.

According to the complaint, a total of fifteen separate Cyber Tips reporting a total of 20 different uploads were reported.

The complaint also notes that some of the uploads were duplicate images, but all 20 uploads were separate uploads viewed at different times. On all fifteen occasions, Microsoft reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a user with a particular IP address accessed and/or uploaded an images of child pornography to Microsoft’s Peer to Peer Client (P2P), Bing Image, which is a feature that allows an individual to quickly search for online images.

According to all fifteen the NCMEC Cyber Tips, Microsoft Bing Image reported twenty separate images of child pornography was viewed and/or uploaded to the same IP Address between February 20, 2019, at 8:33 p.m. and August 4, 2019, at 2:03 a.m.

The complaint notes that the images included graphic, nude images of children that appear to be between the ages of six and nine-years-old engaged in sexual acts and/or poses.

According to the complaint, a check of publicly available records located online by an organization known as the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), determined that the particular I.P. address was assigned Comcast. On April 29, 2019, an Administrative Subpoena was issued to Comcast directing them to release subscriber and other pertinent information regarding the user identified with the IP address.

The complaint notes that on April 29, 2019, Comcast responded with information naming a known female at a Fordham Road, Punxsutawney address as the IP address user.

On July 19, 2019, an intelligence analyst with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General conducted an online records search of the target address for public records through a database known as CLEAR, a program routinely utilized by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General to link public and private records to locate people, assets and affiliations with known information. The search indicated that three individuals, including the known woman, have public records associated with the target address.

On July 17, 2019, physical surveillance was conducted at the Fordham Road address in an attempt to identify or confirm the identity of any persons residing at the residence. A burgundy Jeep Compass parked in the driveway of the residence was confirmed to be registered to Peter A. Hayes, who was one of the individuals associated with the address, the complaint states.

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, agents from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and the Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant at the residence.

According to the complaint, at the time of the search warrant, Peter Hayes was located at his service shop, which shares the same address as the residence. Agents cleared the residence and service shop without incident and explained to Hayes that a search warrant for the residence and his service shop were being executed for child pornography.

During an initial discussion with Hayes, he disclosed to agents that he has seen pictures of younger kids on his computer. After some additional questioning, Hayes allegedly further disclosed that he had pictures of child pornography saved on his laptop computer in his service shop, the complaint indicates.

Hayes was then advised that he was not under arrest and was asked if he would answer questions about why he had these pictures saved. He agreed talk to the agents, the complaint indicates.

At approximately 10:50 a.m., Hayes was read his rights by an agent and was also provided with his rights in written form. Hayes acknowledged that he understood his rights and stated that he was willing to answer questions without an attorney present, according to the complaint.

Hayes stated that he had been looking at child pornography for one to two years and further stated that he looks at it a couple to several times a week. Hayes reported he couldn’t articulate an age of child he looks for when searching for child pornography; however, he indicated that he likes young females who have “budding breasts” and agreed that female children in this age range would be between eight and 12 years old. Hayes went on to say that he has seen children as young as two years old engaged in sexual acts with adults when searching for child pornography, according to the complaint.

Hayes allegedly reported that he mainly uses Google and sometimes Bing image search to look for child pornography. He also indicated that he has a website or two bookmarked on his laptop computer that he will navigate to on occasion to find child pornography. He also stated that he is mentally stimulated by the images he views and that this was his “dirty little secret,” the complaint indicates.

Hayes was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2.

Unable to post $25,000.00, he was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is set for 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 8, with Judge Mizerock presiding.

EDITOR’S NOTE 1: Extreme graphic details were not included due to the sexual nature of the photographs.

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