Former Berks police chief admits downloading child porn

  • By Laurie Mason Schroeder Staff Writer
  • 0

A former Berks County police chief who lives in Bedminster will be a registered sex offender for the next 15 years, after pleading guilty Monday in Bucks County Court to downloading child pornography.

Robert Geist, 44, of the 2000 block of Bedminster Road, will be sentenced in about 60 days, following a Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act review. He pleaded guilty before county Judge Rea Boylan in Doylestown to possession and distribution of child pornography. 

Geist, the former chief of police in Brecknock Township, Berks County, was arrested in July following an undercover sting. Bucks County police working for the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, traced files on a peer-to-peer sharing network to Geist’s home computer. 

Investigators viewed the files and saw sexually explicit images of underage girls, court records show. As they were serving a search warrant at Geist’s home, detectives noticed that a file deletion program had been activated. 

Geist did not speak during the brief hearing Monday. His attorney, Robert Goldman, said his client is seeing a therapist to address the issues that led to his arrest. Goldman said Geist now works as a truck driver and has a supportive family. 

Geist could be sentenced to more than a year in prison. He remains free on $25,000 bail. 

Geist was appointed chief of police in Brecknock, near the Lancaster County border, in 2011 and was fired in October 2012, according to township records. Geist remained on the township payroll until March. Published reports indicated he was fired for what supervisors described as "violations of department policy."