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Bail is denied for fired banker charged in Web sharing of child porn videos

An Alden foster parent and youth volunteer who was arrested on child pornography charges last weekend will be held in jail while awaiting trial, a federal judge ruled late Thursday.

Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy said public safety concerns voiced by the U.S. Attorney's Office prompted him to deny Chad A. Salvatore's request to be released on bail.

Salvatore, 37, of Clinton Street, was arrested early Saturday morning after a child porn investigation by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. Agents said Salvatore was a member of a file-sharing network that distributed child porn videos featuring violent sex attacks on young children and, in at least one case, an infant.

The felony charges of possessing and distributing child porn that were filed against Salvatore have caused M&T Bank to fire him from his job as an assistant vice president for commercial loans, his attorney, Scott F. Riordan, told the judge.

A 13-year-old foster child was living with Salvatore and his partner in their home at the time of the arrest, prosecutor Aaron J. Mango said. The foster child was put into the custody of child welfare authorities, the prosector said, but there is no allegation that the teenager was harmed in the home.

Salvatore also has a youthful-offender conviction for molesting children when he was 17, Mango told the judge.

Riordan said Salvatore is not charged with producing any of the child porn videos.

"He and his partner have served as foster parents for years, and [Salvatore] also volunteers with a group that brings foreign exchange students into local homes," Riordan said. "Other than the incident that happened when he was a minor, I am aware of no other allegations that he ever harmed any child."

But McCarthy said he was concerned by the graphic and violent nature of the videos that Salvatore is accused of possessing and distributing. The judge told Riordan that he will reconsider the question of bail if a psychiatrist or psychologist examines Salvatore and finds that he would not pose any danger to children.

The child porn investigation is continuing, said Mango, who told the judge he was "shocked" to learn that Salvatore had been approved as a foster parent despite his youthful-offender conviction for molesting children. The prosecutor said Salvatore, at 17, was put on probation for five years for molesting three children, one of them under the age of 11.

Salvatore has pleaded not guilty to the child porn charges.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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