Former Berks Co. police chief faces child porn charges

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. - December 12, 2013

Authorities say former Brecknock Township Chief Robert Geist was one of the largest distributors of child pornography in Pennsylvania in the month of June.

Police say 44-year-old Robert Geist has at times been Pennsylvania's most prolific distributor of child porn.

According to WFMZ, Geist was appointed as police chief in Brecknock Township in 2011, but was fired in October 2012.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams tells WFMZ that there was never any criminal investigation of Geist conducted in Berks County.

Officials say his firing had nothing to do with child pornography.

The investigation began last summer when New Britain Detective Jeffrey Cummins was searching traditional child porn sites on the internet as part of a state and federal task force crack down on child porn distributors.

"I located the computer that at the time was the number one offender in Pennsylvania for child pornography," said Detective Cummins.

Police say the internet address sharing the child porn was found in the Bedminister Township home of Robert Geist's father.

Police served a warrant and launched a major raid of the home in the summer.

Police say as they closed in on the house, Geist's father yelled a warning to his son.

Police found Geist sitting at a computer trying to erase evidence.

Police say they recovered material depicting children in sexual situations and even a depiction of a child being raped.

"The people who used this network are not making any money. They are not selling it. People will simply get files from other individuals and once they have them, they offer them to other individuals," explained Detective Cummins.

Neighbors in the rural community are shocked to learn about the allegation against Geist.

"He's always been very friendly. It is very scary," said one mother who did not want to be identified.

Robert Geist surrendered Tuesday to Bucks County authorities. He was charged, arraigned, and then released on unsecured bail.

Geist is charged with viewing and distributing child porn on the internet. He is free on bail, released on his own signature.

His attorney did not return calls for comment.

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