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Retired York County minister will serve up to 23 months in prison for possessing child pornography

Robert Leon, 73, was sentenced Tuesday. He was charged in 2018 after his former landlord found pornographic images in Leon's former Chanceford Township home.
Credit: Pennsylvania State Police
Robert Leon

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A retired United Methodist Church minister from York County will serve a prison term of three to 23 months for possession of child pornography, according to court records.

Robert Leon, 73, was sentenced Tuesday by York County President Judge Maria Musti Cook. The sentence was part of a plea arrangement.

In addition to jail time, Leon must spend three consecutive years on probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for 15 years, according to the terms of the agreement.

Leon was charged in 2018 after an investigation by State Police that began on Sept. 1, 2017. 

The former landlord at Leon's Chanceford Township home alerted authorities when he discovered images of child pornography behind a nightstand in the master bedroom while cleaning the home when Leon and his wife moved out, State Police said. 

The images, which appeared to have been printed out from various websites, depicted some subjects who were obvious minors, according to police.

In April 2018, police spoke with Leon at his home in Arizona, where he had moved after leaving York County.

Leon told police that he had printed the pictures but denied downloading or looking at child porn. He said that he went to sites with “screens” or moderated sites so “he wouldn’t get the underage stuff by accident.”

Leon told police that he was mainly into cartoons and “clever” pornography that made him laugh or was different, according to the criminal complaint.

However, Leon did admit to liking younger adults and older teens, as well as cartoons that were depicted as the same age.

Leon was charged in December 2018. 

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