Clarks Summit man sentenced for sharing child sexual abuse materials

By Ed Lewis

WILKES-BARRE — A Clarks Summit man’s cooperation with Luzerne County detectives combined with intellectual and physical disabilities earned him a reduced sentence for possessing and sharing child sexual abuse materials.

Daniel Kopetchny, 41, was arrested in November 2020 by county detectives and Pittston police, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and state police Northeast Computer Crime Unit, after investigating a cyber tip he uploaded a video via Facebook Messenger. At the time, Kopetchny was residing on South Main Street, Pittston.

The video – four minutes and 10 seconds long – showed a girl involved in a sexual act, according to court records.

A chat log involving Kopetchny with another person involved soliciting child sexual abuse videos and images, court records say.

When detectives interviewed Kopetchny, according to court records, he admitted to chatting with another person and sharing images and videos of children engaged in sex acts.

Detectives in court records say they recovered more than 40 images and/or videos of child sexual abuse materials on Kopetchny’s cellular phone.

Kopetchny pled guilty to 25 counts of child pornography and a single count of dissemination of images or film of children involved in sex acts on Feb. 14.

At his sentencing hearing before Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. on Wednesday, forensic psychologist Dr. Richard Fischbein said Kopetchny has intellectual and physical disabilities and has been fully compliant in the community after his arrest.

Fischbein said Kopetchny, if sent to a state prison, will require to be fully monitored as he would be a target due to his disabilities.

“He’s responsible but he’s scared and the thought of recidivism based on what is happening here is very low,” Fischbein said.

Kopetchny’s mother said her son was bullied for most of his life due to having limited physical abilities and feared he could be “permanently damaged” in prison.

Deputy Assistant District Attorney Thomas Hogans acknowledged Kopetchny cooperated with detectives but requested a state prison sentence due to the seriousness of the offenses.

Sklarosky noted he has sentenced many defendants on similar cases while acknowledging each case is different, believing Kopetchny’s case is “less extent.”

Sklarosky sentenced Kopetchny to the county correctional facility for three-months to 24 months less one day on the dissemination of images charge followed by seven years’ probation on the child pornography counts. Kopetchny was given credit for 23 days’ time already served in jail after his arrest and is eligible for immediate parole once he reaches the minimum sentence.

Kopetchny could have faced four to eight years in state prison.

Kopetchny is required to register his address for 25 years as a sexual offender under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.