Two Lancaster County men arrested and charged with distributing child pornography
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of two Lancaster County men as part of ongoing efforts to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography.
The defendants are identified as:
- Hector Colon-Plaza, 44, 311 E. New St., Apartment 1, Lancaster; and
- Joseph Fortunato, 60, 417 Rabbit Hill Lane, Lancaster.
Colon-Plaza was taken into custody on April 17, 2014 by agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section following a five-month investigation into the dissemination of child pornography.
The charges state that agents, who were conducting an online investigation, identified a computer on a peer-to-peer network sharing several media files believed to depict child pornography. The computer’s IP address was later identified as serving Colon-Plaza’s Lancaster residence.
Agents executed a search of Colon-Plaza’s home and seized two laptop computers. A preliminary review of the devices revealed image and video files depicting child pornography. The items will be analyzed further by the Office of Attorney General Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.
Colon-Plaza is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Janice Jimenez and held on $75,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 24, 2014.
Attorney General Kane noted that Colon-Plaza is a Megan’s Law offender, which will subject him to a 25- to 50-year mandatory sentence if found guilty of the charges.
The case will be prosecuted in Lancaster County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General Child Predator Section.
According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an undercover investigation into the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography identified several files of investigative interest being made available for download through a peer-to-peer network.
The computer’s IP address was later identified as serving Fortunato’s Lancaster residence. On April 17, 2014, agents executed a search of the home and seized a desktop computer and external hard drive. Agents from the Office of Attorney General Computer Forensics Unit conducted a preliminary analysis of the items and found both to contain suspected child pornography.
Attorney General Kane noted that Fortunato was a teacher at Devon Preparatory School in Chester County. He resigned that position on April 21, 2014.
Fortunato is charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography, eight counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He is scheduled to turn himself in to authorities today, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
The case will be prosecuted in Lancaster County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.
Reporting Internet Predators
Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Internet safety tips are available on the “Operation Safe Surf” section of www.attorneygeneral.gov. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations should contact the Attorney General’s Education and Outreach Unit at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.