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Centre County man arrested, accused of possessing sexually explicit images of children

A Centre County man was arrested Tuesday after investigators said they found dozens of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children on his cellphone.

Eric S. Mann, 39, of Boggs Township, had 63 sexually explicit photos and videos on his phone, Pennsylvania prosecutors wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.

The investigation began after a sexually explicit image of a child was uploaded to the instant messaging platform Discord, prosecutors wrote. They alleged the email, username and phone number linked to the account were associated with him, as well as the IP address, a numeric designation that identifies its location on the internet.

Mann told investigators he understood, but said he believed someone else was using his information. His mother is the only other person who lives in the home, prosecutors wrote. A defense lawyer was not listed.

Mann pleaded guilty in June 2017 to attempting to arrange for a sexual encounter with a child at a truck stop in Milesburg. He exchanged multiple online messages with an undercover police officer who posed as a 14-year-old.

He was sentenced in March 2018 to 6 1/2 years in federal prison, as well a lifetime of supervised release. He was released from prison in March 2022.

Mann volunteered with the Milesburg fire department from 2002 until his 2016 arrest, his former defense lawyer wrote in a 2018 sentencing memo. He served as a vice president for the fire company and as a captain for the fire police.

He was also once employed as a driver for Centre County’s office of aging.

An independent forensic psychological evaluation found Mann had a “well above average” risk of recidivism. The evaluator recommended a combination of group therapy, cognitive behavior techniques, continued evaluations and a relapse prevention plan.

Those recommendations, she wrote, were appropriate to “help Mr. Mann achieve a durable control over his sexual behavior.” A message left Tuesday with his former defense lawyer was not immediately returned.

Mann was charged with 63 felony counts of possession of child pornography, as well as one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker, who denied bail. He is incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 3.