Without explanation, a federal judge has denied a request to reopen the detention hearing of a former local man facing child pornography charges.

Kenneth P. Jeffries II, 22, formerly of 11 E. Shenango St., Sharpsville, was arrested July 18 on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. He has been held in federal custody since then, and was ordered jailed until trial on July 20, when a magistrate judge determined there was probable cause that Jeffries committed the crimes.

Jeffries is being held in Allegheny County Jail and fears that inmates who know of the charges against him will beat him, said Assistant Federal Public Defender Thomas Livingston.

The case is being held up while investigators examine Jeffries’ computer, which was seized July 17 in a raid of his former home in the Sharpsville Gardens public housing complex, Livingston said.

Plea negotiations and the possibility of more charges hinge on the contents of the computer, he said.

Livingston asked U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, Pittsburgh, to release Jeffries to a halfway house until trial.

In a brief order filed Tuesday, Hardiman denied Jeffries’ request.

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