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Employee of family restaurant charged in child porn case

A 20-year-old Town of Tonawanda resident, who police say works at a family restaurant and entertainment venue, has been accused of sharing explicit photographs of children.

Zachary Feeterman, of Parkledge Avenue, was charged Monday with a felony count of possessing a sexual performance of a child, police reported Tuesday.

The arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the federal Department of Homeland Security and the town police department’s Computer Forensic Unit. The investigation began in Honolulu, Hawaii, and eventually led to Feeterman’s home in the town, according to Capt. Joseph F. Carosi, a department spokesman.

Feeterman was sharing explicit photos back and forth with someone already under investigation in Hawaii, Carosi said. The children in those photographs were less than 10 years old, he added.

Feeterman was employed as part of the kitchen staff at Chuck E. Cheese’s in Amherst. The company on Tuesday released a statement saying that he has been terminated and the chain is cooperating with the investigation.

“We were shocked to learn of these allegations, and we want to assure parents and caregivers that we take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores,” the company said. “Chuck E. Cheese’s performs background checks on all applicants for part-time and full-time employment who are over the age of 18 and was one of the first restaurant companies to institute this policy nationwide. We are committed to providing a wholesome, safe experience for families, setting high standard across all of our locations.”

Following arraignment in Tonawanda Town Court, Feeterman was released on his own recognizance, pending a July 30 court appearance.