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Pennsbury School District Teacher Faces Child Pornography Charges

A Pennsbury School District music instructor was charged with possessing thousands of images and videos of child pornography, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Christopher Bygott, 47, of Hamilton, N.J., surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning to be charged with possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, both felonies.

Magisterial District Judge Jan Vislosky arraigned him. He was released on $250,000 unsecured bail, with the conditions that he have no contact with minors, stay off the internet, and surrender his passport.

The school district released a statement from Superintendent Thomas Smith saying “a staff member” was arrested on child pornography charges and that authorities do not believe any Pennsbury students were involved.

“The staff member in question was placed on unpaid administrative leave, has been banned from all district properties and district activities, and has been instructed not to communicate with any district staff, students, or families,” Smith said.

“Like every individual we hire, the individual in question has had active and fully cleared PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal History, FBI Criminal Background History, and all other required clearances on file with the district at all times during employment,” Smith added.

Bygott, the band director and curriculum coordinator for instrumental music, took students on overnight trips to perform at various venues.

“The PHS Marching Band has performed on five continents, countless parades, and almost all Disney Parks. Whether entertaining the crowd at a Pennsbury football game, marching in local parades, or performing in another country, this outstanding group of students, under the direction of Chris Bygott and his dedicated staff, is a strong point of pride for the district,” said Jennifer Neill, the district’s spokesperson was quoted as saying last year.

Tim Daly, a parent whose children had Bygott as a teacher, said, “Our superintendent and school board have continually told our community they are better suited to assume a parental role for students through teachers than the actual parents. This incident further supports why parents should have oversight into what is happening with their kids.

“I want answers as to when the school district learned of the allegations and how quickly he was removed from the classroom,” Daly added.

According to the criminal complaint, Bucks County detectives received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Dec. 5. The internet address used to upload the child pornography from an Amazon Photos account was at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Bygott’s email address was on the account, the complaint said. County intermediate units provide various services to school districts, usually related to special education and curriculum.

During a Dec. 13 interview with detectives at the Pennsbury High School East campus, Bygott allegedly admitted that he was “sick” and “had a problem,” the complaint said. Bygott told detectives that his cell phone contained numerous files with child sexual abuse material.

A forensic examination of Bygott’s cell phone found it had more than 2,000 child pornographic images and videos, the complaint said.

“Mr. Bygott worked at multiple buildings during his employment in Pennsbury. As soon as the district received notification from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Bygott was placed on unpaid leave. Until notification by the Bucks County DA, the district had no reason to suspect Mr. Bygott of any misconduct,” said Neill.

The case is assigned for prosecution to Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Lannetti, chief of child abuse prosecution.

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Bristol Man Arrested for Child Sexual Assault, Child pornography

(From a press release)

A Bristol Borough man sexually assaulted three children, recorded the assaults, and shared some of the recordings on various social media sites, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced at a news conference on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Brian Nathaniel Harris, 28, of Pond Street, was charged Tuesday morning with more than 160 counts, almost all of them felonies, related to the sexual assaults and production and dissemination of child pornography. He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Jan Vislosky and sent to Bucks County Correctional Facility under $20 million bail.

“A predator living among us like this is a community’s worst fear,” First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said. “Thanks to the outstanding work done by law enforcement, Brian Harris will be held in Bucks County detention while he awaits his day in court.” “We encourage anyone who has concerns or whose children may have had contact with this individual to please reach out to Bucks County Detectives.”

Law enforcement authorities strongly believe there is a possibility of additional potential victims. If anyone has any information, they are urged to contact Bucks County Detectives at 215-348-6354.

“In every single child exploitation case, time is of the absolute essence,” said William S. Walker, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Philadelphia. “In the case you’ve heard about today, agents, detectives, officers, and prosecutors sacrificed their Thanksgiving holiday and weekend by working to uncover and identify additional victims. They deserve our thanks for their tireless work in protecting vulnerable victims and saving lives.”

Charges against Harris include multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of an unconscious person, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, indecent assault of an unconscious person, indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age, knowingly photographing or filming a child sex act, dissemination of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and criminal use of a communication facility.

This case is being investigated by Bucks County Detectives, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and the Attorney General’s Office.

“Protecting children is at the very top of our priority list as public officials, and we were proud to work alongside our partners in Bucks County to remove this alleged predator from society,” Attorney General Michelle Henry said. “My office remains committed to collaboration with law enforcement and community partners that keep Pennsylvanians safe.”

Harris was first arrested last week for disseminating child pornography, an investigation that began Oct. 31, 2023, when the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That CyberTip report indicated that a person shared an image of child pornography on the social media site Snapchat.

The investigation led authorities to Harris. Bucks County Detectives and local law enforcement served an arrest warrant and took Harris into custody on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at his home in the 1200 block of Pond Street. He was charged that day with dissemination of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and criminal use of a communication facility. He was sent to BCCF on $100,000 bail, 10 percent. Further investigation led to the latest charges. As part of that investigation, detectives served a search warrant for electronic devices, seizing two cellphones.

A forensic extraction of those cellphones uncovered more than 500 combined image and video files containing child sexual abuse material. An analysis of those files showed Harris filming himself while he touched or sexually assaulted the victims, one of whom who was asleep during the assaults. In several of the files, Harris’ right hand is captured wearing a black ring inscribed with the words “Yee Yee.” He was wearing the ring when he was taken into custody. Additionally, the investigation found that Harris disseminated several of those files through various social media platforms using multiple online identities. The victims were identified as two boys and one girl, ranging in age from 2 to 12.

The investigation found that these crimes occurred within Bucks County between September 2018 and September 2023.   This case was investigated by Bucks County Detectives, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the Attorney General’s Office, the United States Marshal Service, Falls Township Police Department, and the Bristol Borough Police Department.  Chief Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy is assigned for prosecution.