City woman sentenced for child pornography

A 39-year-old Altoona woman was sentenced Monday to the State Correctional Institution at Muncy after entering a no-contest plea to possession of child pornography.

Helen Marie McKinley, formerly of the 2700 block of Broad Avenue, will serve three to six years at Muncy.

Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle said that McKinley will be on 10 years’ probation upon her release from custody.

McKinley appeared before Doyle Monday morning during a review of Blair County court cases.

She was accompanied by her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Dave Beyer.

McKinley came to the attention of Altoona police in March when a man came to the police department and reported that McKinley was using their shared computer to view pictures of young children.

City police took custody of the laptop computer and allege it contained 250 images of children.

She eventually was charged with possession of 62 pornographic shots.

According to the court documents, the photos were of very young children committing sexual acts.

The kids were in various states of undress, according to the charges against McKinley.

Earlier this month, McKinley appeared before Blair County President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva asking that she be granted bail pending the outcome of the charges. Kopriva denied the request.

McKinley entered a no-contest plea to one count of possession of child pornography. The no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict her of the charge.

McKinley on Monday offered no reasons for her activity.

Assistant District Attorney Russell Montgomery said that the case will be sent to the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Review Board to determine if McKinley is a violent sexual predator under Megan’s Law.

If she is found to be a predator, she will be required to register her address with police for many years.

That hearing will be scheduled after the state board has a chance to review a report prepared by a child sexual abuse expert.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.