A retired Penn State Abington music professor allegedly took nude photos of himself inside his campus office and then e-mailed them to a 16-year-old girl in Spain.
Stephen Stace, of East Pennsylvania Avenue in Upper Dublin, is charged with possession of child pornography, unlawful contact with a minor, dissemination of obscene materials to a minor, corruption of minors, and criminal use of a communication facility.
Stace, 65, was an associate professor of music and integrative arts at Penn State Abington, according to his faculty profile on the school's website.
In 2001, Stace received the school's Outstanding Service Award, according to his profile.
The investigation into Stace's alleged sex crimes began Aug. 26 when authorities received information that an email found on Stace's home computer, in which he communicated with the 16-year-old in Spain, was sexual in nature and made reference to photographs shared between Stace and the girl, said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
Two days later, on Aug. 28, investigators met with Stace at his home, where he admitted to communicating with the girl.
Investigators then examined Stace’s computer and located numerous images of the girl in various stages of undress. Stace's computer also contained additional child pornography depicting other minors as well as several nude images of Stace, authorities said.On Sept. 16, investigators once again met with Stace, and he admitted to trading nude images with the girl, Ferman said. Stace also told investigators he was a recently retired professor at Penn State Abington, and that he communicated with the girl from his campus office while using his Penn State e-mail address.
These communications included occasions where Stace took nude photos of himself inside his office at Penn State Abington prior to sending them to the girl, according to Ferman.
On Sept. 19, investigators executed a search warrant on Stace’s Penn State e-mail account and discovered a series of e-mails exchanges between Stace and the girl. All the e-mails were sexual in nature and contained sexually graphic information, including Stace repeatedly expressing his desire to meet the girl for sex, Ferman said.
Investigators also discovered that Stace sent at least three nude images of himself to the girl, while repeatedly asking her to send him nude images of herself, according to Ferman. The girl sent Stace several images of herself in various stages of undress, Ferman said.Stace was arraigned Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Patricia Zaffarano. His bail was set at $75,000, with a 10 percent option. A preliminary hearing has scheduled for Oct. 21 at 12:15 p.m. before Zaffarano.