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New York police chief charged with possessing child pornography

Journal News/lohud.com

Mount Pleasant police chief Brian Fanelli pictured in 1999.

A suburban New York police chief who taught sex-abuse awareness classes to children has been charged with downloading child pornography.

Mount Pleasant Chief Brian Fanelli was arrested Thursday by Homeland Security agents.

In a complaint filed with the court, an agent says Fanelli told investigators that he first viewed child pornography as research for the sex-abuse awareness classes he was teaching at two schools.

He then began viewing the pornography "for personal interest," according to the complaint.

Fanelli appeared in federal court in White Plains and was released on $50,000 bond.

No plea was entered. Fanelli's attorney refused to comment after the court session.

Fanelli has been chief for just two months in Mount Pleasant, in Westchester County. He first joined the department in 1981.