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Many sickened by criminal charges against former police chief

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:57:36 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 05:42:39 AM CST

Berks County residents are stunned after news broke that a former police chief is now facing child pornography charges.

BRECKNOCK TWP., Pa. -

Berks County residents are stunned after news broke that a former police chief is now facing child pornography charges.

Robert Geist, formerly the chief of police in Brecknock Township, was once the top online distributor of online child pornography in Pennsylvania, according to investigators.

"It makes me sick to my stomach," said Beth Wilson, a local mom.

"It's shameless," said Joe Dymek.

Geist turned himself in Tuesday in New Britain Twp., Bucks Co. Investigators there said they had linked massive amounts of child porn to Geist's home near Perkasie over the summer, less than one year after he had been overseeing the Brecknock Township Police Department.

"I can't believe somebody in that job… is doing these things," said Wilson.

Township records show that Geist was let go in Oct. 2012 for violating departmental rules. Township Chairman Jeff Fiant stressed to 69 News on Thursday that the reasons were "totally unrelated" to the allegations now facing Geist.

Fiant said there was never any evidence that Geist was accessing child pornography while working for the department. Fiant said the real reason for his termination cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.

Berks County District Attorney John Adams told 69 News on Wednesday that a criminal investigation involving Geist or his termination was never conducted.

Now, Geist is facing multiple charges and a preliminary hearing on Jan. 17 in Bucks County. He is currently free on unsecured bail.

"I hope they throw the book at the guy," said Dymek.