Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CITY/EAST/SOUTH [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CITY/EAST/SOUTH [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt


Sheraden man faces child pornography charges

A 28-year-old Sheraden man was arrested and charged Thursday after authorities found 20 videos and images of child pornography on his laptop.

Erik Z. Bietz, who worked for the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, faces 20 felony counts of child sexual abuse in connection to the child pornography, which largely depicted elementary-school-aged children, according to a criminal complaint. He also is charged with criminal use of a communication device, a felony.

Investigators from the Pennsylvania attorney general's office and the Allegheny County district attorney's office electronically traced images uploaded to, a file-sharing and -storing website, back to Mr. Bietz, according to the complaint.

When questioned, Mr. Bietz told authorities he had obtained the images through anonymous apps and admitted to uploading the images to Dropbox, the complaint said.

The VA said Friday that Mr. Bietz had been placed on administrative leave pending a possible unpaid suspension.

Anti-gay church plans series of protests

The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has announced plans to protest next week at various educational institutions in Pittsburgh's Oakland section, at Pine-Richland High School and at the Society of Environmental Journalists' conference Downtown.

A picket schedule listed on the group's website indicates plans to protest Thursday afternoon at Carnegie Mellon University, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, all between 1:30 and 3:45 p.m.

Plans call for a 30-minute protest Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Pine-Richland High School, which has attracted controversy and national attention over policies pertaining to transgender students' use of bathrooms, and then later that morning at the journalism conference at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh.

As a result of Westboro Baptist's plans, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has instituted an 11:30 a.m. dismissal Thursday for students at the two high schools.

The Campus School, a day care center at Carlow University, announced plans to close Thursday "in the interest of safety. …

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