He was released on $75,000 bail, pending a Sept. 17 preliminary hearing before Judge Maggie Snow.
Police say Hartmann’s illegal activity began around Feb. 5, and that on May 23, Special Agent Brian King of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General reviewed 10 “CyberTips” reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) by Microsoft Corporation. NCMEC is the national system where citizens and companies can report online exploitation of children.
An April 1, authorities sent subpoenas to Comcast for the two IP addresses noted in the CyberTipline reports, which were shown to be registered to Hartmann’s wife at their Solebury home.
On July 30, police arrived with a warrant at 122 Summerhill Court, and forced their way into the unoccupied townhouse. There, they located a Dell computer in the basement with more than 50 images depicting children — some as young as 10 years of age — engaged in sexual acts, according to the complaint. Neighbors contacted the Free Press on July 31 to report that several unmarked police cars had appeared at the Summerhill Court address and removed multiple boxes of evidence.
On Aug. 9, the Hartmanns were questioned at Newark International Airport as they returned from a trip to Norway. Police say John Hartmann admitted using his basement computer to search for and view sexual images of children on Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Suspects are considered innocent unless proven otherwise or their rights are waived.