A Pennsburg pediatrician is facing child pornography charges.
Dr. David Shawn Kennedy, 48, was arrested Monday after authorities discovered photos of children who appeared to be younger than age 18 and were naked and in sexually suggestive poses on his cell phone, according to the police criminal complaint filed in the Red Hill court of District Judge Catherine Hummel Fried.
Kennedy, who owns the Personal Care Pediatric medical practice at 925 Main St. in the borough, faces five counts of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Kennedy opened an office on Geryville Pike in Upper Hanover in 2008, after 10 years of practice. The office eventually moved to its current location in Pennsburg. The physician previously worked in Pottstown and Gilbertsville.
An employee at the Pennsburg office alerted law enforcement officials at 9:11 a.m. Monday after she discovered the photos, which she believed consisted of child pornography, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Dirk Boughter, a detective assigned to the Major Crimes Unit of the Montgomery County Detective Bureau.
According to the affidavit, Kennedy – who lives on W. Second Street in Pennsburg – purchased an Apple iPhone 7-plus on Nov. 22 and provided it to the employee, who volunteered to take after-hour phone calls from patients' parents Nov. 23 through Nov. 28.
The employee told police that while she possessed the phone, she used it to take phone calls from patients, browse the Internet to look up medical information for patients and take photos of her Thanksgiving gathering on Nov. 24.
The following day, the employee went into the photo album/roll folder on the phone and "found what she estimated to be hundreds of digital images of naked [women], some of which were involved in some form of actual or simulated sex," court papers state. The employee also suspected that some of the women in the photos might have been under the age of 18.
Two days later, while using the same phone to review a medial chart for children's medication, the employee found a label in the phone's web browser that read "David's iCloud" along with a list of suggested sites, including "teen porn, amateur porn, marvelous infant undresses in front of webcam and juvenile lass in the shower," the affidavit states.
The employee met with two Montgomery County detectives and Upper Perk Police Detective Matt Boaman at 10:05 a.m. at the office where she turned over the iPhone, according to police.
Later, in a formatted statement to detectives, Kennedy admitted to visiting websites that contained images of children younger than the age of 18 posing naked and in sexually suggestive positions. He also admitted to viewing and saving these photos to his iCloud account based upon a curiosity he had, according to authorities.
During the same interview, Kennedy allowed detectives to search two iPhone 5s that also belonged to him. The lead detective saw several images of children he believed "to be under the age of 18 years old engaged in sexual acts or posing naked in a sexual manner," according to court papers.
Several website pages on the phones that had been recently visited were still open on the browser and contained "clear images of minor children of prepubescent age engaged in sexual acts upon adult males," the affidavit states.
The total number of images deemed to be child pornography was limited to five until a further forensic examination can be conducted, according to authorities.
During an arraignment Monday evening, Norristown District Judge Francis J. Lawrence Jr. set Kennedy's bail at $250,000 cash. The defendant was remanded to Montgomery County Prison, according to information posted on a state judicial website.
A preliminary hearing in the case before Hummel Fried has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 21.
Sophia Polites, an assistant district attorney, will prosecute the case. The matter remains under investigation, according to information provided by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.