BNY Mellon computer-network security vice president charged with child pornography

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A vice president of computer network security with BNY Mellon investment services is facing a charge of possession of child pornography after thousands of photos were found on his home computer.

Duane Amity, 45, of Monroeville, is accused of downloading images of girls between 2 and 10 years old, some of which were shared on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

He was released after posting a $25,000 bond and has a formal arraignment scheduled for June 6.

He is a married father of two.

Mr. Amity's attorney, David J. DeFazio, said his client waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday and has been cooperating with law enforcement.

The FBI began its investigation in October after receiving a tip that someone using a specific Internet provider address was sharing documents containing file names that may be child porn.

The Bureau subpoenaed Verizon Communications for the IP address and, in December, an agent executed a search warrant.

Nearly 3,000 files were flagged as child porn or potentially pornographic, according to an Allegheny County district attorney's office's criminal complaint.

Investigators found the term "PTHC" in several search returns and in a text file that contained URL links and file descriptions similar to ones that may contain child porn, according to the complaint.

In one folder, investigators found more than 900 images, which had been deleted or were no longer "active" on the computer, some of which appeared to be of nude girls.

Mr. Amity told investigators he knew the term "PTHC," which often stands for "pre-teen hardcore," because of computer investigations he did at work.

Mr. Amity denied seeing the text file and, at first, said he "did not know anything about child pornography," according to the complaint.

Later, Mr. Amity told investigators that across ten years, he had looked at child porn, downloading then deleting images of girls between 2 and 10 years ago, according to the complaint.

He could not offer an explanation, except that he had been molested as a child and that might be why, according to the complaint.

Mr. Amity strongly denied ever touching a child or sharing the files, which he said could have happened accidentally, according to the complaint.

He also expressed a desire to seek counseling.

He also told investigators that "although it sounded odd, this investigation was a God send to him and his wife" and "like a weight being lifted off his shoulders."

Mr. DeFazio would not comment on how Mr. Amity, who spoke candidly in interviews with investigators, according to the criminal complaint, will plead in the case.

"I would say based on his cooperation so far, I see a young man who is a victim in his own way from (past) experiences, who just wants to put this behind him," Mr. DeFazio said, referring to his client telling investigators he was molested as a boy. "So I don't see any reason why he would stop cooperating."

BNY Mellon spokesman Ron Gruendl declined comment.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede. First Published April 17, 2013 11:45 PM


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