Jul 25, 2013 05:38 AM EDT
Ohio’s Medical Director Faces Child pornography Charges
Dr. Christopher E. Pelloski, a 39-year-old director of the Paediatric Radiation Oncology Program at the Ohio State University (OSU), resigned Wednesday after being charged federally with one count of receipt of child pornography. He is being accused of downloading sexually explicit videos and photos of children (some under the age of 10).
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If convicted, Pelloski might face a sentence of five to 20 years in prison. Pelloski is the Director of the Pediatric Radiation Oncology Program at The James Cancer Center at the OSU's Wexner Medical Center.
The investigation revealed that Pelloski "downloaded numerous images and videos depicting minors engaged in explicit sexual activity via the internet." Pelloski admitted to a member of a Franklin County special investigations unit that he used his personal computer and a laptop that belonged to the university to download child pornography.
Investigators said that they found more than 100 child porn images on the laptop and he is alleged to have downloaded 10 files of child porn last October and another 59 files were downloaded through this month. However, they also said that the images in question do not involve any children he treated or worked with.
"This type of criminal activity can impact any community," said Brian Quinn, Upper Arlington Police Chief. "It's especially difficult when it involves someone we all have confidence and trust in."
Magistrate judge Norah McCann King placed Pelloski under house arrest in suburban Upper Arlington until he receives permission to leave. He has also been ordered to wear an electronic monitor, surrender his passport, not to use internet and have any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Prosecutors said that since there was no evidence that he physically touched or harmed any children, he was allowed to be on house arrest.
"I don't think there's any allegation whatsoever that he's ever touched or harmed any children, any children he has treated or any children he's had contact with," said Stephen Palmer, his attorney. "This is a shock. This is not going to be easy on him. He's just going to take it one step at a time and do the best he can to deal with the problem.
Pelloski is married and is the father of 5-year-old twins.
Apart from James Cancer Hospital, the Upper Arlington doctor had limited consulting privileges at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. The Columbus medical center is a referring hospital to the radiation oncology program at The James.
As a result of the federal complaint, Pelloski has lost all the access to all medical center's facilities, patient records, email and hospital computer networks. The center is now transferring all his patients to other radiation oncology experts. Pam Barber, spokeswoman at the Nationwide Children's Hospital, said that he no longer enjoys consulting privileges as well.
Pelloski treated Danny Johnson's 3-year-old son who has stage-4 neuroblastoma. Johnson said that he was shocked when he learnt about the accusations.
"Very disturbing," Johnson said. "The person you trust your kids with when they're fighting for their lives, and to find out he's involved with child porn. It's very disturbing."