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Shippensburg pastor pleads no contest to possession of child pornography
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Shippensburg pastor pleads no contest to possession of child pornography

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SHIPPENSBURG — The pastor of a Franklin County church pleaded no contest Monday to possession of child pornography.

Keith R. Bell, 55, of Shippensburg, pastor of Church of God in Upper Strasburg, pleaded no contest to two counts of possession of child pornography after being charged by the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section on June 12, 2013.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 5.

He was initially charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Bell was arrested following an investigation into the downloading and sharing of numerous files containing images of children engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses.

According to the criminal complaint, Bell allegedly viewed three images of children engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses, which he downloaded from a file-sharing network.

When investigators confronted him, Bell told them he had seen child pornography on his computer but did not know how it got there. He said he used the sharing program to download music for his daughter’s wedding, the complaint states.

Four laptop computers, a desktop computer and other electronic media seized were from his home and were analyzed as part of the investigation.

He was initially sent to Cumberland County Prison on $150,000 cash bail, which was posted June 20, 2013.

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