Ex-Pittsburgh-area radio host arraigned on child porn charge

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A retired radio host has been arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, authorities said.

Michael H. McGann, 65, of Ohio Township, was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of disseminating and possessing child pornography. He was released from the Allegheny County Jail the same day after posting $500 of a $5,000 bail, court records show.

The accusations date to February 2012 when Detective Marcus Penwell of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Ohio posed as a father of two young girls in an online chatroom and was contacted by a man whose screen name investigators said they linked later to Mr. McGann.

According to an Allegheny County district attorney's office criminal complaint, Mr. McGann told Detective Penwell he had performed a sex act on his granddaughter -- and on some of his daughter's friends over the years -- but wanted to meet someone "young" because the she lives in the Philadelphia area.

Mr. McGann told investigators he never touched any child, including his grandchildren.

He also sent Detective Penwell about 57 images of children and said he wanted to perform sex acts on his daughters, according to the complaint.

In August, Detective Lynn Havelka with the district attorney's office obtained a search warrant and seized computers at Mr. McGann's home. Investigators, in a preliminary forensic review, found more than 50 images of child porn, she wrote in the complaint.

During an interview with Detective Havelka, Mr. McGann said "because he was a Christian he did not view pornography on his computers," according to the complaint.

Asked if he had ever viewed child porn, he said he did about 10 years ago, but that it disgusted him and he never viewed it again.

Mr. McGann was a longtime radio host on WIXZ, WTAE and WXKX and around the region. He was program director for WJAS-1320 AM from 2002 to 2008 before he retired.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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