While state police have executed a search warrant at the home of Seven Fields Mayor Ed Bayne because of child pornography found on a computer, the next step in the criminal investigation could be weeks away.
Troopers on Jan. 16 searched the Bayne home on Graywyck Drive, according to the warrant issued by District Justice David Kovach. Occupants of the home included on the warrant were Bayne, his wife, Macrina Bayne, and two sons.
In an affidavit of probable cause filed to obtain the warrant, state police computer-crimes investigators said they located a computer address that shared and downloaded child pornography in October. Investigators said they obtained a court order and traced that computer to the Graywyck Drive home.
Authorities said they found 24 files from a file-sharing network on the computer, including one file described in the search warrant as showing a young girl of about 9 or 10 years old performing oral sex on an adult man, the search warrant said. The video was about five minutes long.
A return on the search warrant that details what was found on the electronics seized from the home may take weeks, according to the staff at Kovach’s office.
Charges have yet to be filed in the incident. State police spokesman Trooper Dan Kesten said Wednesday evening there was no new information in the investigation.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Bayne is a managing principal at Xerox. His wife, Macrina Bayne, is a first-grade teacher at Haine Elementary in Cranberry, according to the Seneca Valley.
District spokeswoman Linda Andreassi declined to discuss Macrina Bayne’s employment at the district Thursday, but said the teacher has not requested a leave of absence.
"As this is an ongoing investigation, the district reserves making comments at this time,” she said.
In Seven Fields, manager Tom Smith said he has not heard from the mayor since the search warrant was executed at his home.
Bayne missed council’s last meeting on Jan. 14. Smith said he received an email the day after the meeting in which the mayor explained he missed the meeting because of a family matter.
As of Thursday, Smith said he has not received many calls at the borough offices from resident regarding the incident. Council is aware of the investigation into Bayne’s home and likely will discuss it at their next meeting on Feb. 11, Smith said.
Beyond performing ceremonial duties, Smith added Bayne does not play an administrative role in the borough, which is run by council and the manager. He said Bayne does not have access to the community offices or computers, nor does he have a borough-issued cell phone.
“Traditionally, the mayor in Seven Fields is a figurehead,” he said.
Smith said there is no protocol for council to remove the mayor from his position. If charges are filed against Bayne, Smith said Bayne’s future as mayor may be up to Butler County officials.
Bayne was appointed mayor of the borough in 2006 to replace Bruce Daubner, who moved to Columbus, Ohio. He was elected in 2009. His term ends Dec. 31, 2013.
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