D.A. says Warren Reynolds resigned following state police investigation
Updated at 4 p.m. to add defense attorneys’ statement, preliminary hearing date, township comment
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
An ailing computer allegedly led to child-pornography charges against a New Garden Township supervisor who has since resigned, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Wednesday.
Hogan said Warren E. Reynolds, 51, of Avondale, was charged with 500 counts of sexual abuse of children – possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. Hogan said Reynolds resigned from his township position following the investigation.
Reynolds’ attorneys, Theodore Simon and Vincent P. DiFabio, released a statement in their client’s behalf: “Mr. Warren Reynolds is charged with solely possessing images of child pornography alone and in the privacy of his home obtained from the internet with a computer. Mr. Reynolds and his family have a long and distinguished history of doing good and charitable deeds in the Chester County and greater community. It is Mr. Reynolds’ fervent hope to resolve this matter fairly so that in the near future Mr. Reynolds can return to the focus of his community, continue his family’s tradition of doing good and charitable deeds and seek to earn back his good name. ”
The statement also said that Reynolds voluntarily resigned as township supervisor prior to his surrender. “He worked hard in his role as township supervisor and served with distinction in that capacity,” the statement said, adding that the charges have nothing to do with his township service.
“Child pornography is another link in the chain of depravity that binds victims of child abuse; anybody who possesses or distributes child pornography is helping to support the sexual abuse of defenseless kids,” said Hogan. “Whatever your position in life, possession of child pornography is a one-way ticket to arrest, prosecution, and shame. “
According to the criminal complaint, Reynolds’ wife called a computer technician on April 22 to service a home computer in her husband’s office. The technician found numerous child pornography images on the computer, files that had been accessed the previous day when Reynolds had used it, the complaint said.
After the technician reported his findings to the state police, investigators executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home the next day, the complaint said. Among the seized items were multiple computers, discs, VHS tapes, film reel, photo slides, a video camera, printed images of adults sexually assaulting children, and a pair of children’s underwear, the complaint said.
The files were labeled with titles commonly associated with child pornography, such as “Age 06,” “The Early Stuff,” “Baby J,” and more explicit titles, the complaint said. Corp. James Strosser, a certified forensic computer examiner for the state police, found nearly 2,000 images featuring children ranging in age from 3 to 17; the files, many of which were viewed repeatedly, dated back to 2000, the complaint said.
“The Pennsylvania State Police aggressively investigates child pornography allegations,” said State Police Capt. William White. “State police investigators in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit are committed to prosecuting anyone engaging in the exploitation of children through pornography.”
Township manager Spencer Andress said Reynolds submitted a letter of resignation June 5 that was read at the Monday supervisors’ meeting, which Reynolds did not attend. In it, Reynolds expressed sadness and cited “personal reasons” for stepping down and said that serving as a township supervisor had been “one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.”
Prosecutor Deborah Ryan of the District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit has been assigned to prosecute the case, Hogan said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 12 at 10:30 in Avondale district court.