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Child Porn Suspect To Change Plea In Threat Case

File photo of a gavel (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of a gavel (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A child pornography defendant was scheduled on Thursday to change his not guilty plea to charges that he possessed child porn and threatened to rape and murder a female U.S. postal inspector who helped investigate him.

Todd Markley, 49, of Export, was charged last year after authorities said he bought 21 videos depicting nude boys from a Los Angeles child porn distributor that was raided in 2006 and then was targeted in a U.S. Postal Inspector’s sting of customers found in the California company’s records.

He was set to appear before a federal judge in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Markley was charged last May with ordering a catalog from a company purporting to be a child porn supplier. In reality, the business was part of the sting and Markley’s home was searched by federal agents in April after he allegedly paid $54.95 and was mailed two DVDs, one entitled “Curious Boys” and the other containing previews of other DVD child porn videos.

Agents seized the videos mailed to Markley in the sting operation, a desktop computer and three thumb drives — two of which agents later discovered contained numerous images of child pornography, according to an 11-page criminal complaint.

Markley was subsequently charged with emailing an expletive-filled diatribe to one of the female postal inspectors who searched his home.

In the email, Markley denied viewing the thumb drive pictures for four or five years and claimed to have counseled several troubled boys through some unspecified church ministry.

“You are such a stupid (expletive), that you brought down the type of person you should be promoting,” the email said at one point. “Well, an eye for an eye, (expletive).”

Markley’s email claimed he had counseled 12 youths, 11 of whom had reconciled with their fathers as a result. But he said the 12th boy is “deep into organized crime now” who Markley allegedly offered $3,000 to kill and rape the postal inspector with help from some unspecified associates, authorities said.

“And I’ve instructed them to make your death as painful, drawn out and humiliating as possible. You will probably be raped by at least 10 guys before they kill you,” Markley allegedly wrote, promising in the meantime to “petition God daily, to send you to the deepest, damnedest depths of hell, where you will burn with the rest of the damned, for eternity.”

Defense attorney Richard Joyce didn’t immediately respond to phone and email messages for comment Thursday in advance of Markley’s change of plea hearing.

Federal court records show the defense attorney requested a psychological evaluation be done while Markley was housed at the Allegheny County Jail in December to help the attorney defend against the charges. The court records do not say why Markley has decided to change his plea to the charges instead.

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh have not said whether they were able to determine if Markley had really counseled boys through a church.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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