PHILADELPHIA — Federal authorities have charged former Springton Middle School principal with possession of child pornography after investigators found more than 150 pornographic images of minors on computer storage at his Exton home.
Troy Czukoski, 42, was charged Tuesday with one count of possession of child pornography by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Investigators from the U.S. Postal Service executed a search warrant at Czukoski’s Exton home on October 18 and seized two flash drives, CDs and DVDs, according to the information charging Czukoski. An examination of that material allegedly revealed more than 150, but less than 300, visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, the information states.
When authorities alerted district officials of the probe, Czukoski was immediately placed on administrative leave.
He had held the position of principal for only a few months, having previously worked as principal and administrator at the Phoenixville Middle School in Chester County. Springton Lake Middle School has approximately 860 students in grades six through eight.
West Chester Attorney Joseph Green Jr. was contacted shortly after Memeger announced the charge filed against Czukoski. He released a written statement on Czukoski’s behalf.
“Troy Czukoski is an adult survivor of childhood sex abuse who, within the last four years, collected images that depict adolescent boys,” Green wrote.
Green stated in the release that Czukoski told investigators that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. The attorney said Czukoski is receiving psychiatric treatment, accepts responsibility for possession the prohibited images and has agreed to plead guilty.
“He is disappointed that the government has chosen to charge him here, but he is looking forward to the court proceedings that will eventually determine the consequences for his conduct,” Green wrote in the press release. “Troy has never mistreated any child, and there is no suggestion that he has ever done so.”
Green called Czukoski “a victim of horrible mistreatment” and asked for privacy for Czukoski and his family.
“Do not make his victimization worse,” Green wrote.
Rose Tree Media Superintendent James Wigo said Czukoski resigned from his position shortly before the charge was filed. The superintendent noted Czukoski had only been in the position for 14 weeks.
“Early this morning we were disappointed to learn from the U.S. Attorney’s office that Dr. Troy Czukoski, the former principal of Springton Lake Middle School, has been charged with the possession of images of “children engaging in sexual explicit conduct,” Wigo wrote in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
“There is no evidence that Dr. Czukoski ever mistreated any of our children,” Wigo wrote. “For this we are all relieved and thankful.”
Czukoski has 20 years of education experience, including earning his Ph.D. in educational philosophy. He also served in the U.S. Army and the Pennsylvania National Guard.
A graduate of West Chester Henderson High School, he resides in Chester County with his wife and three children.
If convicted, Czukoski could face up to 10 years in prison, a mandatory five years of supervised release up to a lifetime of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella is prosecuting the case.
-This story is from the Delaware County Times.