BNY Mellon official charged with possessing child pornography

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PITTSBURGH - A BNY Mellon vice president of computer network security has been ordered to stand trial on charges he downloaded 3,000 images of child pornography on his home computer.

According to the FBI, an investigation that began in October located nearly 3,000 photos and videos of girls as young as 2 on Duane Amity’s home computer.

Amity, 45, of Monroeville, was released from Allegheny County Jail last week on $25,000 bond. Formal arraignment is scheduled June 6.

The FBI subpoenaed Verizon Communications to track shared child pornography files to Amity's Internet address, the criminal complaint against him said.

According to a criminal complaint, Amity acknowledged viewing the images but denied sharing them with others. Investigators said Amity told them he's been viewing the images for about 10 years and attributes that to his molestation as a child, calling the charges a "godsend" and opportunity to seek counseling.

“He's taking steps to deal with the trauma of those childhood experiences,” said David DeFazio, Amity’s lawyer.

Amity said that “nothing was used from work” at BNY Mellon.

Some of the files linked to Amity included nude prepubescent girls in sexual positions and in some cases accompanied by men who also were nude from the waist down, according to the complaint.

One of the files police traced to Amity contained the abbreviation PTHC, which often stands for “pre-teen hard core” on file sharing networks, according to the complaint. Amity initially told investigators he was familiar with the abbreviation based on computer investigations he conducted at work.

BNY Mellon spokesman Ronald Gruendl declined to comment. As of Wednesday, Amity had an active voice mail with the company.

Among the files the FBI investigated were documents created with a BNY Mellon word-processing program and at least one file that contained Amity's work email address, according to the criminal complaint.

He told investigators that the images were of girls ages 2-10, that he acknowledged the seriousness of downloading image files and planned to seek counseling, according to the complaint. He said he thought he had deleted the images and denied sharing them with anyone.

Amity told investigators he was the only member of his family who used the file-sharing network. He denied ever touching a child in a sexual way, according to the complaint.

“My client has been very forthcoming with the authorities, and that's a double-edged sword. Clearly, he takes away some of his ability to defend but, at the same token, his cooperation has gotten him, so far, reasonable bail,” said DeFazio.

Formal arraignment is scheduled for June 6.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.