Police: Chambersburg man collected more than 80 images of child porn on computer, cell phone

FRANKLIN COUNTY — A 70-year-old Chambersburg man is facing 81 felony counts related to child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility after the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section, following up on a tip from Google, discovered child pornography on his laptop and cell phone, court documents say.

John Footen, of the 200 block of Whitley Drive, initially told agents he did not have any child pornography, but had visited “internet websites” including “PureNudity” with a specific interest in “family nudity” and “nudist colonies,” according to the criminal complaint affidavit.

He later explained to investigating agents that he had “seen nude children in the nudist colony setting while searching for porn,” and that porn may be “an addiction,” according to the complaint.

After further questioning, Footen eventually admitted to searching for child pornography, stating he believed “nudist images of children were legal,” investigators said in the complaint.

The investigation of Footen began in January, when a special agent with the the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section was notified from Google that Footen had uploaded and reviewed four images of young girls engaging in sexually explicit acts, according to the complaint.

The files were uploaded on Oct. 15, 2018, Google reported.

Investigators traced the IP address, using information from Comcast and PennDOT to find Footen’s physical address.

Agents from the Attorney General’s Office executed a search warrant at Footen’s home at 6:43 a.m. on Oct 4, the complaint states. Footen, who was present at the time, agreed to speak to agents without a lawyer after being advised of his Miranda Rights.

He allegedly confirmed the email address and phone number agents traced belonged to him, but initially told agents he did not know why they were questioning him.

Investigators collected Footen’s laptop and cell phone as evidence, and a forensic examination led to the discovery of more than 80 images of child pornography, with a focus on prepubescent children, from both devices.

The images are a small sampling of the total number of images collected by authorities, according to the complaint.

Eventually, Footen admitted to searching for nudist colony images “with the intent of focusing on nude children for the purpose of sexual gratification,” investigators said in the complaint.

Footen is incarcerated in Franklin County Jail, on $100,000 bail.

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