PITTSFIELD -- A 51-year-old sex offender who served time for child rape is being held on $250,000 bail bond after pleading not guilty on Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court to multiple counts of child porn possession.

John F. Poole of Brown Street was ordered held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction in lieu of $25,000 cash or $250,000 bond by Judge Paul M. Vrabel following the defendant's arraignment on five felony counts of possession of child pornography.

Poole was arrested on Wednesday following a Massachusetts State Police investigation into the downloading and exchanging of child pornography through a peer-to-peer online file sharing program. Police said they discovered child porn images of girls as young as 8 on Poole's computer and that Poole admitted he had been downloading child pornography ever since his release from prison 10 years ago. He was most interested in viewing pornography involving 12-year-old girls, Poole allegedly told police.

Poole, a level 2 sex offender, was convicted of six counts of rape of a child under 14 and indecent assault and battery in 1995 for sexually abusing a young girl.

According to the state Sex Offender Registry Board, a level 2 offender is the second highest designation given and indicates a person whose "risk of reoffense is moderate."

Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W.


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Kinzer III, who is prosecuting the case, told the court his office intended to bring Poole's case to the grand jury.

Poole, represented by attorney Thomas J. Donohue Jr., is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 24.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BETheAmelinckx