A brain-damaged convicted sexual offender who faces more than a dozen counts of felony possession of child pornography has been removed from the Middletown rehabilitation center where he lived until last month.
Richard Roth, 42, has been held at Bucks County Prison since April 9 on a parole violation stemming from a 2010 child sex related conviction, according to county prison records.
On Friday, Roth waived his preliminary hearing before Penndel District Judge Daniel Baranoski and sent the 17 counts of felony child pornography charges against him to Bucks County Court for trial. If convicted he faces up to seven years in jail on each count.
Roth has a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident 16 years ago, according to his attorney. He uses a wheelchair and has the use of only one arm. He also cannot speak without the use of a device that assists him.
In December 2010, Roth pleaded guilty to attempted indecent assault on a child under age 13, unlawful contact with minors and indecent assault on a person under age 13. He was placed on probation for 10 years. He is listed as a "lifetime" sexual offender on the state's Megan's Law website.
Roth's new legal problems are the result of a probation officer's discovery during a routine visit that he had been looking at pornographic material on his computer, a violation of his probation, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.
When the officer checked the computer, he saw searches in the computer history that referenced searches for child pornography. The parole officer confiscated the computer and turned it over to Middletown police, who had the hard drive analyzed.
Police found images of prepubescent girls in underwear posing provocatively, as well as other images of known child pornography websites that Roth allegedly visited between June 30 and July 20, according to the affidavit.
In November, Middletown Detective Andrew Amoroso interviewed Roth. During the visit, Roth confirmed the confiscated computer was his, and that he played computer games and used the screen name that police found on it, according to the affidavit.
At the time, Roth denied that he was a pedophile, telling Amoroso, "I am just desperate," according to the affidavit. He also apologized for downloading the child porn and promised he would not do it again.
Amoroso told Roth that he found adult and "fetish" pornography on the computer as well and the detective asked why Roth looks at child pornography.
"He said that regular porn was getting old," according to the affidavit.
A spokeswoman for Woods Services in Middletown on Friday confirmed that Roth was discharged from the long-term rehabilitation center for people with mental and physical disabilities. He had lived there 16 years.
The Courier Times was unsuccessful in attempts to reach Roth's attorney William Moore on Friday.