New Kensington man to serve up to 50 years in jail on child pornography charges
A New Kensington man was sentenced Tuesday to serve up to 50 years in prison for the possession of more than 20,000 images of child pornography.
Joshua Pottle, 37, was convicted of 40 felony counts in October following a three-day jury trial in which he was accused of having pictures and videos of children on two computers found in his home.
Pottle, who represented himself during his trial and again Tuesday, declined to make any statements before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway imposed the 25-to-50-year prison term, the mandatory minimum sentence required under state law.
“I believe the sentence is appropriate considering the seriousness of the crimes,” Hathaway said.
In addition to the prison time, Pottle will be barred from having any unsupervised contact with children and is prohibited from accessing the Internet once he is released on parole. He is also subjected to lifetime registration requirements with police as a convicted sex offender upon leaving prison.
Police seized two computers from Pottle as part of a statewide child pornography investigation conducted in 2015. Witnesses testified during the trial that Pottle’s computer contained as many as 20,000 pornographic images including a sampling of 106 pictures from which 34 different children were identified. Police said some of the images were of children performing sex acts.
Pottle presented no witnesses and did not testify during his trial. He claimed during an argument to jurors that he was the victim of a cover-up.
Prior to his trial Pottle rejected a plea bargain deal that would have resulted in a reduced sentence of 12 1/2-to-25 years in prison.
According to court records, Pottle previously served two years in prison after he was convicted in 2001 in two separate cases of statutory sexual assault against a child.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]