NORRISTOWN — A Philadelphia man faces time behind bars after he was found possessing child pornography on his cellphone while he was on the Montgomery County Community College campus in Whitpain.

Richard Kenneth Welch, 24, of the 6600 block of Lincoln Drive, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 9 to 23 months in the county jail after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of possessing child pornography in connection with an August 2018 incident at the campus located in the 300 block of DeKalb Pike.

Judge Thomas C. Branca, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, ordered Welch to report to the jail on Feb. 24 to begin serving the sentence. The judge also ordered Welch to complete five years’ probation following parole, meaning Welch will be under court supervision for about seven years.

Welch also faces a 15-year requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Welch must undergo a psychosexual evaluation and comply with all recommendations for treatment. The judge said Welch can have no unsupervised contact with minors and he is not permitted to use the Internet unless for work purposes.

An investigation of Welch began on Aug. 29 when security officials at the college campus contacted Whitpain police to report that a female student advised security officers that Welch sent her inappropriate text messages in which he allegedly discussed having sexual contact with an underage girl, according to a criminal complaint.

The female student ceased communicating with Welch and reported the conversation to campus security officials.

When police made contact with Welch on the campus on Aug. 30 and confronted him about the inappropriate text message he sent to the female student he “began to get upset and told me he has a sex addiction,” Whitpain Township Police Officer Bradly Potter alleged in the arrest affidavit.

During the investigation, when police asked Welch if he had any inappropriate images on his cellphone he “advised he did have pornography on his phone and some of the images are of young children,” according to the arrest affidavit. Welch gave police consent to search his phone.

A review of the contents of Welch’s cellphone uncovered more than 100 images of child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

Other charges of criminal use of a communication facility were dismissed against Welch as part of the plea agreement.

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