Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Philip Ahr Faces Child Porn Charges - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Philip Ahr Faces Child Porn Charges

Radnor Township Board President

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    Radnor Board of Commissioners President Philip Ahr faces child pornography charges. NBC10's Pamela Osborne hears what neighbors close to him have to say.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017)

    The president of a Main Line board of commissioners faces child porn charges for possessing hundreds of images depicting infants and other children involved in sex acts.

    Radnor Township Board President Philip Ahr, 66, is accused of possession and distribution of images that depict children engaged in sex acts with adults, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced.

    Ahr turned himself into investigators Wednesday morning. Ahr was freed after posting 10 percent of $100,000 bail after a judge arraigned him Wednesday afternoon, court records said.

    Ahr said nothing as he left court with his attorney, Mark Much.

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    The child porn charges came about three weeks after authorities raided Ahr’s Meredith Avenue home.

    "As an elected individual and Chairman of Radnor Board of Commissioners, Mr. Ahr took an oath to serve and protect the residents, and for that reason we hold him to a higher standard of conduct," Whelan said.

    County investigators initially zeroed in on Ahr after receiving info from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a man uploading and sharing child pornography through Yahoo Messenger, Whelan's office said in a news release.

    On Sept. 18, Verizon identified Ahr as the owner of the IP address connected to the porn, investigators said.

    On Sept. 21, county detectives served a search warrant on Ahr's home. During the raid, Ahr told investigators that he owned two computers and led investigators to a desk in his basement with a laptop and desktop on it, police said in a criminal complaint obtained by NBC10.

    Ahr admitted to "sexting" online with unknown people using Yahoo Messenger and that sometimes the conversations, using an email address he didn't want associated with his name, involved "sexual talk about children," investigators said.

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    During one conversation, a person sent him about one dozen images of girls Ahr thought were around 13 years old, investigators said. Ahr admitted to receiving the child pornography and sending it to another individual.

    "Obviously I knew the images were illegal and don't know how I could say otherwise," Ahr told investigators at his home, according to the criminal complaint.

    A forensic search of Ahr's computers showed chat logs dating back to 2013 where Ahr "shared and sought graphic images and videos of children in sexual positions, bondage and engaged in sex acts with adults," the news release said.

    Some of the shared images showed children as young as 2 involved in sex acts, investigators said.

    Ahr admitted to searching for "daddy daughter," "young" and "teen" pornography, police said.

    Police also uncovered more than 1,000 web links to pornographic images, some of children. Some of the links were hidden in Excel spreadsheets, investigators said.

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    The web pages led investigators to find more than 500 images and videos of child pornography. 

    "Ahr’s collection was mainly comprised of prepubescent girls under the age of 10 years, but also included infants and toddlers," the criminal complaint said.

    Some images even showed children involved in sex acts with animals, detectives said.

    The Democrat missed the board's Sept. 25 meeting following the raid of his home. He remained on the job as of Wednesday.

    Ahr isn't allowed to use any electronic devices, including smart phones, for any purposes outside of work ahead of his preliminary hearing later this month. During a news conference Wednesday, Radnor Township officials called for Ahr to resign immediately.