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NORRISTOWN - A 63-year-old Phoenixville man has pleaded not guilty to charges he possessed more than two dozen images of child pornography on a personal computer at his former home in Trappe.

Kenneth Allen Luning, of the 100 block of Jackson Street, waived his formal arraignment this month in Montgomery County Court on 30 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of possession of an instrument of crime.

By waiving the arraignment hearing, Luning did not have to appear before a judge for a formal reading of the charges against him. Luning signed a court document entering not guilty pleas to all the charges.

Luning, who remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail, will now see his case listed for trial.

In the meantime, Luning, through his lawyer, Edward J. Rideout, is fighting the charges by alleging police unlawfully seized computer disks and other items from his former Trappe home during the investigation and that that evidence cannot be used against him at trial. Luning argued the search of his former Trappe residence was unlawful because police lacked probable cause and the scope of the search was illegally broad.

A judge is expected to schedule a pretrial hearing on the matter later this year.

According to a criminal complaint filed by state police at Skippack, an investigation of Luning began in January 2003 when Luning was residing in the 200 block of West Main Street in Trappe. Court documents indicate police seized a computer from the residence.

Investigators with the state police computer crimes unit examined the computer and found "several images of unclothed children under the age of 18 engaged in prohibited sexual conduct and nudity, depicted for the purpose of sexual gratification," police wrote in the criminal complaint.

Ninety-six photographs or images were printed from Luning's computer, court documents indicate. The photographs were delivered to a registered nurse working with the county coroner's office for examination. The nurse determined which photographs depicted children under the age of 18.

Based upon the investigation, police decided to pursue prosecution against Luning for 30 of the photographs. The 30 photographs depict children between the ages of 6 and 16, according to the criminal complaint.

If convicted of the charges, Luning faces the possibility of 12 years in prison.

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