MEDIA COURTHOUSE — For the second time in nearly three years, a 51-year-old convicted sex offender is charged with child pornography offenses — this time allegedly posing as a teenager  and sharing images on Facebook while on probation.

It was back in October of 2015 that James Traband, of Upland, entered a plea of guilty in the Delaware County Common Pleas Court to possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility. As a result of the conviction, Traband became a registered sex offender under Megan’s Law and was ordered to comply with the special rules and regulations of Adult Probation and Parole governing sex offenders – which includes registering with the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the prohibition of pornographic material of any kind.

In announcing his latest arrest, Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland said Thursday that Traband is now charged with 25 counts of dissemination of child pornography, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, all third-degree felonies.

Some images allegedly found in Traband’s possession depict naked male children between the ages of 3 and 13 being sexually assaulted and abused.

“Those who possess child pornography contribute to the appalling and repulsive exploitation of innocent children,” Copeland said in a prepared release. “In partnership with our local police, CID detectives and forensic analysts, our ICAC Task Force actively works on a daily basis to locate and arrest these individuals to ensure the safety of our children.”

A second offense conviction carries a 25 year prison term, according to Emily Harris, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

The investigation was led by Detective Sgt. Kenneth Bellis of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Delaware County Adult Probation and Parole. 

According to the district attorney’s office, Traband was on probation on July 9  when officers from Adult Probation and Parole conducted a home compliance check at his residence in Upland.

"As agents knocked at both front and rear doors Agent Carissa Tillotson looked through the rear door and saw Traband enter a bathroom behind the kitchen. Approximately 10 seconds later, Traband exited the bathroom and opened the door to let the agents inside,” the release states. “Agent Justin Lewis and Agent Frank Shannon searched the bathroom and inside a container of dry dog food, Agent Lewis located a cellular telephone with a piece of tape covering the camera.

“Agent Lewis viewed the cellphone and located a Facebook application that opened to a page with multiple pictures of shirtless adolescent males. Traband admitted to Agent Lewis that the cellular telephone contained child pornography and he was taken into custody,” the release states.

A forensic examination of the cell phone was conducted by CID Detective Chris Tankelewicz. As a result, “numerous images of child pornography, with the majority of the images depicting naked male children between 3 and 13 years old exposed in a sexual manner,”  the release states. “Some of the images depict the minor boys being sexually assaulted.”

Further forensic analysis of the phone confirmed that the defendant, under an alias, portrayed himself to be a 14-year-old male and shared more than 25 images of child pornography with three different Facebook users.

Harris said search warrants had been conducted on the other Facebook accounts. All three are outside the United States and were referred to the FBI. Some had previously been reported, Harris said.

Traband has been remanded to the county prison in Concord after failing to post 10 percent of $250,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Charles G. Nistico for a preliminary hearing Sept. 6.

In October 2015, Traband entered a negotiated guilty plea on child pornography and criminal use of communication facility, both third degree felony offenses. He was sentenced to serve a maximum of 23 months in IPP, an intermediate punishment program, and a maximum of five years of probation. Sometimes an alternative to jail, it may also include weekend incarceration, incarceration with work release, as well as constant supervision, community service, treatment or electronic monitoring.

According to information provided by Harris, Traband’s IPP included DNA testing, sex offender registration, psychosexual evaluation, 20 48-hour periods of incarceration, and 140 days of electronic home monitoring.

It was not known if Traband had retained an attorney.

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