New Kensington man rejects plea deal in child porn case; trial set to begin Oct. 1 | TribLIVE.com
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Rich Cholodofsky

A New Kensington man awaiting trial on charges that he possessed as many as 10,000 items of child pornography rejected a plea bargain on Thursday that would have resulted in his serving at least 12-1/2 years in prison.

Joshua Pottle during a hearing before Westmoreland County Court Judge Rita Hathaway said he would not accept the deal and wanted his case to go to trial.

Deputy Attorney General Chuck Washburn said the deal called for Pottle to serve up to 25 years in prison. Pottle faces a mandatory sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison if convicted at trial, Washburn said.

Pottle, 37, was arrested in 2015 and charged with 40 counts of possession of child pornography as part of a statewide investigation. Police claim they found thousands of images and videos on his home computer that were suspected to be of child pornography.

Pottle is serving as his own lawyer. On Thursday, he asked the judge to allow him to testify at his trial as a computer expert to dispute evidence expected to be presented by prosecutors pertaining what investigators found on his home computer.

The judge rejected that request but said Pottle could testify on his on behalf.

The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, Washburn said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

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