ETNA, N.Y. — An Etna man was indicted on eight charges related to the possession of child pornography, court documents show.

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Robert Snyder, 67, of Etna, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury for crimes that allegedly happened from November 2010 to October 2014. He’s charged with:

— Receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography (Five counts)

— Possession of child pornography

— Accessing with intent to view and possessing child pornography (Two counts)

The following narratives were written using information provided in court records regarding Snyder’s indictment, criminal complaints against him and detention order:

The Toronto Company

According to court documents, Toronto Police Service and United States Postal Inspection Service officials began investigating  a film business, called the Toronto Company, based out of Canada that shipped child pornography to customers around the world.

The Toronto Company was the subject of more than 20 complaints to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline, regarding the use of kids in child pornography.

During the investigation into the company, officials were able to purchase and view their website, which depicts child pornography.  Officials also discovered a shipping facility run by the Toronto Company in North Tonawanda.

The company was raided in May 2011 and is being prosecuted on child exploitation charges in Canada.

Catching Snyder

United States Postal Inspection Service officials were able to view documents from the Toronto Company’s records, where they found information about customer Robert Snyder, whose address was listed as 8 Park Ave. in Etna.

The documents showed that from November 2010 to February 2012, Snyder spent $212.60 on seven pornographic videos from the company.

Officials then issued subpoenas for Snyder’s email address associated with the pornography purchases and his IP address.

On Oct. 27, 2014, police visited Snyder’s home in Etna where Snyder admitted to purchasing film from the Toronto Company and additionally said he viewed images of nude children on a website being referred to in documents as Website A.

The documents states that Website A is a file sharing site where users post and share — privately or publicly — photos of nude children and teens. The documents indicate that the website is run almost like a social media site for people who view child pornography online.

Snyder allegedly told officials that he viewed explicit images on Website A as recently as two or three weeks before being interviewed.

The documents state that Snyder also said he was attracted to women and has been sexually attracted to males between the ages of 12 and 14 his whole life.

He gave written consent to a search of his home and electronic storage media.

After finding evidence of sex crimes in his home, Snyder told officials that he’s taken photos of nude children during trips overseas to countries such as Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.

Investigators say the found evidence of about 200 images of nude children, some as young as three months old, and nine images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Snyder’s teaching status in New York

During an interview with Officials on Oct. 27, 2014, Snyder said he was currently employed as a substitute teacher in the towns of Dryden, South Seneca, Newfield, Ithaca and Lansing.

He claims he has been employed in a full-time manner a substitute teacher for the past 16 years.

Court documents also state that Snyder was a volunteer at the North Spencer Christian Academy.

The Newfield Central School District released the following statement Thursday:

Hello Newfield families,
This is Dr. Thomas, Superintendent of the Newfield Central School District. One of our former substitute teachers was arrested for receipt and possession of child pornography. Please be assured that we take the safety of our students seriously and immediately removed this person from our substitute list as soon as we were told by investigators about this situation. There is no evidence at this point that he had any inappropriate or illegal contact with minors but if you have any additional information about the case, please call the state police. We are taking this very seriously and will continue to act quickly to protect our students. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns. 

Update at 2:10 p.m. — Dryden Central School District Superintendent Sandy Sherwood also released a statement saying Snyder is no longer employed by the district and is not suspected to have had inappropriate contact with children.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.