Upper Gwynedd laywer pleads not guilty to child porn charges

A Lower Frederick man who was employed as a lawyer for an Upper Gwynedd law firm has pleaded not guilty to charges he allegedly used his work computer to search for, view and obtain hundreds of images of child pornography.

 

George Bock Ditter, 65, of the 200 block of Hendricks Road, waived his arraignment and pleaded not guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility in connection with alleged incidents that were uncovered in October while he worked as an independent contractor at the Upper Gwynedd law firm of Hladik, Onorato and Federman.

 

Ditter’s association with the law firm was discontinued on Oct. 7. Law firm officials cooperated with the investigation.

 

By waiving his arraignment, Ditter will not have to appear before a judge in January for a formal reading of the charges lodged against him. Ditter’s case will now be listed for a pretrial conference before Judge Garrett D. Page.

 

Ditter, who is represented by defense lawyer Stephen Geday, remains free on $100,000 unsecured bail pending his next court appearance.

 

An investigation of Ditter began Oct. 6, when a partner in the law firm located in the 200 block of Wissahickon Avenue contacted police to report that “he believed an employee in his office was possessing and acquiring child pornography through the use of a firm computer,” according to the arrest affidavit filed by Upper Gwynedd Detective Jon Kelcey and county Detective James Reape.

 

The law firm official told investigators that in mid- to late-September, he had walked over to the office copier machine to retrieve a fax when he discovered two printed images setting in the copier tray, one of which showed two naked males engaged in a sexual act, according to the arrest affidavit. The partner told detectives he observed Ditter retrieve the images from the copier, according to the criminal complaint.

 

The next day, Ditter approached the partner to explain the images, claiming that he had been doing research for a “sexually graphic novel” that he was writing, according to court documents. During the meeting, the partner advised Ditter that possession and printing of such materials was a violation of company policy.

 

At that time, Ditter allegedly asked the partner, “Let’s just keep this between us. Please don’t tell anyone about this,” according to the criminal complaint.

 

On Oct. 3, according to court documents, a computer virus was detected on the law firm’s computer server, and a tech company was brought in to identify and remove the virus. During that work, two sexually explicit images, both of lone teenaged males, were found on a shared drive, and while those files were not the cause of the virus, the tech company allegedly was able to determine that Ditter had placed them on the shared drive, according to the arrest affidavit.
Source: http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2015/11/26/north_penn_life/news/doc5654952a12c97967529123.txt