Lewd images lead to probation

EBENSBURG – A Huntingdon man received 23 months’ probation Monday for possessing sexual materials involving children in 2013, while he was enrolled in a state program for multiple drunken driving convictions.

Jason Roy Claypool, 40, was housed at the Community Corrections Center in Johnstown as part of a two-year state Intermediate Punishment Program for drug and alcohol offenders when staff found lewd images on Claypool’s cellphone.

His attorney, Thomas M. Dickey, said Claypool had completed the first part of the program while in prison and was transferred to the Johnstown center, where he had access to his phone.

Assistant District Attorney Tamara Bernstein said state police reportedly found six images on the phone of “young girls engaging in sexual acts.”

According to a criminal complaint, police said Claypool admitted to clicking on the images while online even though he “knew that it was wrong and that he should not have done so.”

Dickey said as a result of the new charges, Claypool was pulled from the program and sent to SCI Camp Hill.

Originally charged with felony possession of child pornography, Claypool pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of displaying obscene or sexual materials. Dickey said he requested the charge be added at an earlier hearing because he believed the images were doctored and not child pornography.

Claypool also agreed to waive presentencing requirements so his penalty could be imposed at the same hearing by Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki.

Claypool’s mother, Joan Claypool, asked the judge to release her son so he could help her care for his father, who has cancer.

“I need him home. I really need some help,” she said. “He’s really helpful when he’s home.”

She told the judge she has a computer at home, which her son would be legally prohibited from using during his probation.

“Can you do without it?” Tulowitzki asked.

“If I have to,” she said.

Dickey said Claypool likely will be released to his mother’s home from SCI Camp Hill in two months.

As part of the plea, Claypool also is not allowed to have contact with minors and will be tested for drug and alcohol use.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.