PITTSFIELD -- A sex offender who served time for child rape is being held on $250,000 bail bond after pleading not guilty to multiple charges of possession of child pornography.
John F. Poole, 51, of Brown Street, Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty to five felony counts of child porn possession in Berkshire Superior Court.
Judge John A. Agostini ordered Poole held on $25,000 cash or $250,000 bond at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.
Poole was arrested Dec. 19 by members of the Massachusetts State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and has been held in jail since that time.
Poole is one of three local men who have been charged in either state or federal court in the last few months with this type of crime.
The arrests have come through law enforcement investigations of online peer-to-peer networks where users can exchange music, games or, as in these cases, child pornography, police say.
The prosecutor alleges Poole was found with child pornography on his computer and admitted he had been downloading this type of material since his release from prison a decade earlier.
Poole allegedly told police he was most interested in viewing pornography involving 12-year-old girls.
Poole, a level 2 sex offender, was convicted in 1995 of six counts of rape of a child under 14 and indecent assault and battery for sexually abusing a young girl.
A level 2 offender is considered by the state to have a "moderate" risk to reoffend.
Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W. Kinzer III, who is prosecuting the case, said the investigation is ongoing and that they are continuing to search the defendant’s confiscated computer.
Poole is represented by attorney Thomas J. Donohue Jr.
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