A former middle school principal in suburban Philadelphia has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia says 42-year-old Troy Czukoski of Exton admitted in federal court Friday to possessing more than 150 images of children engaging in sex acts.
On April 19, U.S. District Judge hearing the case, Legrome D. Davis, had temporarily nixed the former Springton Lake Middle School principal's plan to plead guilty. The Delaware County Daily Times reported Davis says he heard hesitation in Czukoski's voice in court and that he should take more time to consider his options.
Prosecutors had announced charges against the 42-year-old last month; Rose Tree Media School District officials said he had resigned. Prosecutors say a search warrant found more than 150 images of children engaging in sex acts. Authorities say they seized two flash drives and 48 CDs and DVDs in an Oct. 18 search.
Authorities say they searched a movie production company that sold DVDs and streaming videos online featuring boys and found that Czukoski had been a customer.
Czukoski's attorney, Joseph Green Jr., earlier claimed that his client admitted to collecting images of adolescent boys engaged in sexual acts for the last four years.
"He has suffered for many years from the after effects of horrific abuse which occurred when he was a child," said Green. "He has now sought help and has been receiving psychiatric treatment to help him cope with this abuse and its consequences."
Green also insists that his client has never mistreated any child.
"There is no suggestion that he has ever done so," he said. "He is a victim of horrible mistreatment."
James Wigo, the superintendent for the Rose Tree Media School District, which Springton Lake is a part of, confirmed Green's claim.
"There is no indication that he mistreated any of our children," said Wigo. "For this we are relieved and thankful."
Czukoski faces up to 10 years in prison and a $240,000 fine. Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 12. His lawyer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.