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Former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Faces 10 Years On Child Porn Charges

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork/AP) — The evidence against a former suburban police chief charged with distributing child pornography includes videos, screen shots and statements he made after his arrest, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Brian Fanelli, 54, was chief of police in Mount Pleasant until his arrest in January. He also had taught sex-abuse awareness to schoolchildren.

Fanelli has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Lee Renzin said in federal court Tuesday that he has shared with the defense more than 800 pages of evidence. He said that’s in addition to three videos that allegedly include sexually explicit images of underage girls.

Renzin said “post-arrest statements” were included, but he did not detail them. A complaint that was made public when Fanelli was arrested said he told an investigator he first viewed child pornography as sex-abuse research. The complaint said Fanelli then began viewing the images “for personal interest.”

Defense lawyer Michael Burke said he did not know if other statements were in the package of evidence.

Burke asked the judge for 60 days to study the evidence and consult experts. Another hearing was set for July 29.

Fanelli, whose wife and other friends and relatives attended his arraignment on Monday, was accompanied by only his sister on Tuesday.

He is free on a $50,000 bond, but is in home detention with electronic monitoring. He has been barred from the Internet and ordered not to associate with children.

If convicted, Fanelli could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Fanelli was suspended from the police chief post when he was arrested. He later resigned.

Mount Pleasant is about 25 miles north of New York City.

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