Villanova campus ministry official charged with child porn

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — The FBI says a Villanova University campus ministry official used an instant messaging app to send pornographic images of a toddler to others.

In a criminal complaint dated Wednesday, the FBI says Associate Director of campus ministry Timothy O'Connell admitted to using accounts "to communicate with others about the exploitation children." The Philadelphia Inquirer reports an investigation of an alleged child pornographer led authorities to the 51-year-old O'Connell.

According to the FBI, O'Connell admitted to communicating with a child pornographer who sent him explicit images of an 18-month-old girl.

O'Connell is charged with receipt of child pornography. Villanova University says he has been suspended and barred from the campus.

A detention hearing for O'Connell is set for Friday.

A message seeking comment from O'Connell's lawyer wasn't immediately returned Thursday.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,