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Pennsbury employee charged with possession of child pornography


A Pennsbury School District employee was charged Tuesday with possessing more than 2,000 images and video files of child pornography, including depictions of sex acts with infants, toddlers and prepubescent children.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said 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.

According to an Affidavit of Probable Cause, Bygott told investigators from the DA’s office when they interviewed him on Dec. 13 at the Pennsbury High School East campus in Falls Township, that he was “sick” and “had a problem.”

He also admitted his Apple iPhone had stored within it numerous files containing child sexual abuse materials, the affidavit said. A forensic investigation of his phone, the affidavit said, found in excess of 2,000 such files.

Bygott, who is employed by the school district as curriculum coordinator for instrumental music, but was referred to as a “music teacher” by the DA’s office, was arraigned by District Judge Jan Vislosky and released on $250,000 unsecured bail, with the conditions that he have no contact with any minors, have no internet usage and surrender his passport.

In a letter to the Pennsbury School District Community Tuesday, Superintendent of Schools Thomas A. Smith said, in part, “Law enforcement officials do not believe that any Pennsbury students were involved in these alleged activities, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement as they conduct a thorough investigation. We will also be conducting a full internal investigation.

“Upon receiving the notification from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, the district took immediate action. 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 also said that like every individual the district hires, “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.”

The investigation by detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office began on Dec. 5 after two CyberTips were submitted to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The CyberTips were linked to an IP address, which was used to upload the Child Sex Abuse Materials (CSAM) files into an Amazon Photos account, the DA’s office said.

According to the affidavit, Bucks County Detectives received subscriber information from Inc., which identified the subscriber as Bygott. Further investigation reportedly linked the IP address to the Pennsbury School District. During their investigation, detectives learned of Bygott’s employment by the district.

“I understand that this news is troubling,” Smith also wrote in his letter, “and we encourage anyone who needs support or has concerns to reach out to their school administration or counselor at any time. Our focus is on our students and ensuring they have access to the resources and support they need.”

This case is assigned for prosecution to Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Lannetti, chief of Child Abuse Prosecution.

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