Blair County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

October 12, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a Blair County man has been arrested on multiple charges related to the possession of child pornography.

Anthony Petracca Jr., 67, is charged with 31 felony counts of possession of child pornography, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Petracca was arrested at his home Wednesday. Bail was set at $25,000.

“Make no mistake that possession of child pornography is an insidious form of child abuse that exploits and harms the children involved. The defendant is accused of contributing to that exploitation and mistreatment of children,” said Attorney General Henry. “These are serious charges and we will do everything in our power to protect children and hold those who take advantage of them accountable for their crimes.”

Petracca was formerly a Catholic priest in Pennsylvania. He was placed on leave by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 2017 following allegations of misconduct. He has not been permitted to work as a priest or interact with children since that time.

In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received and forwarded multiple tips regarding child exploitation to the Office of Attorney General. Further investigation linked the files to the defendant’s IP address and Verizon account information. A search of the defendant’s cloud storage account found multiple files of child pornography.

Anyone who has information about child predators is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section at 1-800-385-1044. Concerned citizens can also report child abuse to the Pennsylvania ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General David Drumheller. All charges are accusations. The defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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