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Church volunteer held on child porn Bail denied for man arrested in sting

A Genesee County man arrested last week on a felony child pornography charge was a volunteer religious education teacher at an Episcopal church, authorities said Tuesday.

David Perozzi, 51, of Broadway Road in Oakfield, is accused of possessing child pornography from the Internet. He was charged after federal Homeland Security agents reported finding child pornography files on his computer during a search of his home Thursday.

Authorities said that, before his arrest, he had served two Sundays a month as a volunteer religious education teacher at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Oakfield.

"He is charged with possession of child pornography," Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti said. "He is not accused of molesting children from the church or anywhere else."

The Rev. Edson Outwin, vicar at St. Michael's, declined comment on Perozzi's status as a teacher at the church. He said he discussed the arrest Tuesday with officials of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York.

"From what we've been told, there's no indication that he was involved in anything unethical at the church," said Laurie Wozniak, communications officer for the diocese. "It's a difficult situation. Anytime a crime like this is alleged, it's shocking and disconcerting."

Church officials declined to say how long Perozzi has been teaching at St. Michael's. They also declined to say whether he will be welcomed back to teach if he is released on bail.

Friday, U.S. Magistrate Hugh B. Scott ordered Perozzi to be held in jail until a detention hearing scheduled for Feb. 28. Grisanti had argued that Perozzi could pose a danger to the community if released.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said they began investigating Perozzi after he shared child pornography files with an agent acting in an undercover role in Chicago. They said Perozzi tried to use a "wiping program" to erase some of his computer files when agents showed up at his home Thursday.

Agents were continuing to investigate materials found in the house, said Special Agent Peter J. Smith, a supervisor of Homeland Security investigations.

Joel L. Daniels, Perozzi's attorney, could not be reached for comment.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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