SPRINGFIELD — A Pittsfield man indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges has apparently declared himself a sovereign member of a private society, in an apparent attempt to avoid prosecution.

Jeffrey A. Petryk, 57, failed to appear for his Oct. 13, 2016, arraignment in U.S. District Court on seven counts, prompting the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

Pertryk faces one count each of distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of material involving sexual exploitation of minors and five counts of receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

The charges cover dates from Oct. 29, 2014, through Jan. 6, 2015. According to the file names on the photos and videos, the materials featured children as young as 3.

After the warrant was issued, court records show no activity in his case until mid-September 2017, when filings from the Panterra D'Oro Private Contract Association were sent to the court on Petryk's behalf and entered into the record.

The documents were signed by Kenneth Scott, who identified himself as the chief justice of the Panterra D'Oro Court of the Ekklesia.

Scott did not return The Eagle's inquiry asking if Petryk's whereabouts is known, if the society was aware of Petryk's pending charges when it accepted him, if that knowledge would change his status and if there have been any cases where becoming a member of Panterra D'oro allowed someone to successfully avoid prosecution.

Likewise, Petryk's attorney, identified in court filings as Alan J. Black, of Northampton, did not return a message seeking comment.

The court files, colorfully printed and featuring the court's "great seal" — a picture of a leopard superimposed over a globe — contain statements attributed to Petryk, claiming his exemption from U.S. jurisdiction.

"Please be advised that I am proceeding as a peaceful living being on the land and not within the the military-occupied public jurisdiction of the United States in which you operate," part of the court files read. "Based on my change in status, I am no longer presumed an enemy of the state and cannot be co-mingled with your civil/corporate at law martial due process system."

According to its website, the association "is a private mutual benefit society for its members to develop knowledge and education as to how our world is constructed, be guided in practical applications to recreate one's life, and join like minded people in a community committed to effect real change in ourselves and our world."

There are no new entries on the court docket of Petryk's still-open case that would indicate he has been located or arrested.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.