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Lansdale Man Charged with 201 Child Sex Abuse Crimes

Timothy Paul Sell, 37, remains incarcerated at Montgomery County prison, awaiting a January 17 preliminary hearing. Sell allegedly shared child pornography using Vuze software on the BitTorrent network, police said

A Lansdale man has been arrested and charged by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Computer Crime Unit with 201 third-degree felony child sex abuse offenses, for allegedly sharing more than 3,000 child pornography videos over the Internet.

Timothy Paul Sell, 37, of a second-floor apartment on the 100 block of East Main Street, is set to face the charges against him at a preliminary hearing on Jan. 17, 2013 at 11 a.m. before District Judge Harold Borek.

The 6 foot 1 inch-350 pound Sell remains incarcerated at Montgomery County prison, according to prison records.

Bail was set by Borek at 10 percent of $50,000 cash at the Dec. 19 preliminary arraignment, according to court records.

According to court records, Sell is charged with the following:

  • 100 counts of Disseminating Photography/Film of Child Sex Acts
  • 100 counts of Child Pornography
  • 1 count of Criminal Use of a Communication Facility

According to a criminal affidavit, on Oct. 22, 2012, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper D. Matthew Powell was conducting an investigation of persons using the Internet to obtain and disseminate sexually-explicit photos and videos of children. Powell used software to connect to the BitTorrent network.

Powll located a computer connected to the network sharing files depicting child pornography, according to the affidavit.

The download process encompassed the period between Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:37 p.m. to Nov. 2, 2012, at 11:10 a.m., according to the affidavit.

Powell downloaded a 33 minute, 52 second video file, depicting a girl between seven and 10 years old engaged in various sexual activities.

Powell was able to download 170 files from the computer system, according to the affidavit.

Police determined the IP address for the computer system was a Verizon FiOS subscriber, identified as Sell, according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 13, 2012, Powell conducted another investigation of persons using the Internet to obtain and disseminate sexually-explicit photos of children.

Powell found the same IP address sharing files on the BitTorrent network, according to the affidavit.

The download process encompassed a timespan between Nov. 13 at 3:09 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 3:18 p.m., according to the affidavit.

Powell downloaded a 5 minute 53 second video of a four or five-year-old girl engaged in various sexual acts, including masturbating with a Sharpie and performing oral sex on an adult male, according to the affidavit.

Powell was able to download 2,900 files from the computer system between Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, according to the affidavit.

A search warrant was issued and executed on Sell's apartment on Dec. 19 at 6:12 a.m. by members of Lansdale Police and the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crime Unit.

Police knocked on the downstairs door, and we let in by a resident, according to the complaint.

Three male subjects were found on the second floor of the residence, including Sell, police said. Each male subject rented a room at the residence.

Sell was in the bathroom of the residence, police said. When asked, he identified the front room as his room, police said.

Sell was given a copy of the search warrant, police said. Sell told police he locks the door to his room when he is not home, police said. The two other male residents were interviewed and told police they either did not own a computer or have not searched nor seen any files depicting child pornography, police said.

An HP Pavilion laptop computer was found on and running in Sell's room, police said. Police said the laptop had Vuze software running on it and was actively downloading files.

Three files being downloaded involved and were named for children engaged in sexual acts, according to the affidavit.

On Dec. 19, a forensic preview examination was conducted on the laptop computer, and files were located depicting child pornography, police said. Police marked and extracted 10 files that depicted child pornography. 

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