Former Villanova University Campus Minister Pleads Guilty in Child Porn Case - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Former Villanova University Campus Minister Pleads Guilty in Child Porn Case

Timothy O’Connell admitted to obtaining images that depicted the sexual abuse and exploitation of pre-pubescent children, federal prosecutors say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Villanova University Minister Charged With Child Porn

    A campus minister at Villanova University is facing child pornography charges.

    (Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018)

    What to Know

    • Timothy O'Connell, a former campus minister at Villanova University, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to receiving child pornography.

    • One of the victims was a 2-year-old child identified by the FBI in another investigation.

    • His attorney says O'Connell is remorseful and will have more to say when he's sentenced, which is currently scheduled for October.

    A former campus minister at Villanova University awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to receiving child pornography.

    Federal prosecutors said the plea on Tuesday by 52-year-old Timothy O'Connell of Drexel Hill involved obtaining images that depicted the sexual abuse and exploitation of pre-pubescent children.

    One of the victims was a 2-year-old child identified by the FBI in another investigation.

    O'Connell is the former associate director of campus ministry at the school. His lawyer, Heather Mattes, says he was terminated by Villanova.

    U.S. Attorney William McSwain calls the case particularly disturbing because O'Connell was a spiritual leader who was trusted on campus.

    "The allegations in this case are particularly disturbing due to the defendant’s history as a spiritual leader in a position of community trust at Villanova," McSwain said in a prepared statement. "We stand ready with our federal and local partners to identify and prosecute those who would prey upon minor children."

    Mattes says O'Connell is remorseful and will have more to say when he's sentenced, which is currently scheduled for October.