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Former administrator admits having child porn

Date: February 19, 2005
By: Jimmy P. Miller

ALLENTOWN -- Former Lehigh County Housing Authority Executive Director John Seitz pleaded guilty Friday to one count of possession of child pornography, a prosecutor said.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped multiple charges, including a dozen counts each of sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communication facility, Lehigh County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matthew Falk said.

Seitz likely won't be sentenced until May because he will undergo a sexual assessment review, which is required under the state's version of Megan's Law, Falk said. The state's Sexual Assessment Board will determine if Seitz is a sex offender or a sexually violent predator, Falk said.

Either way, Seitz "will be under Megan's Law supervision," Falk said.

"He will be required to register with state police, and his photograph will be on the Megan's Law Web site," Falk said.

Seitz's sentence will be up to Lehigh County President Judge William Platt, but prosecutors have agreed to a standard sentence for possession of child porn, Falk said. The standard sentence is anything from probation to nine months in prison, he said.

Seitz's attorney, Phil Lauer, did not immediately return a call for comment Friday afternoon. Seitz will remain free until his sentencing.

Seitz, 56, of the 6400 block of Indian Creek Road in Upper Milford Township, allegedly searched the Internet for child pornography sites using computers at the Lehigh County Housing Authority office in Emmaus. He then saved images from 12 of the Web sites on his computers, state police said.

Seitz resigned as the housing authority executive director shortly after his Sept. 17 arrest.

State police began investigating Seitz early in 2004 after the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission discovered images of children engaged in sexual acts stored on two of his office computers.

The commission had seized the computers for an investigation of Seitz unrelated to the pornography charges, state police said. That investigation began April 5 after the commission received information about possible violations of Pennsylvania's Public Official and Employee Ethics Act.

The disposition of that investigation could not be obtained Friday. Jimmy P. Miller is Bethlehem editor for The Express-Times. He can be reached at 610-867-5000 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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