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Villanova professor found dead before reporting to prison

PAOLI, Pa. -- A Villanova University history professor has been found dead, two days before he was scheduled to begin serving a 20-month federal prison term for child pornography charges.

Chester County’s deputy coroner says 60-year-old Christopher Haas’ death on Saturday was not suspicious. But he declined to disclose the cause or manner until after he notifies Haas’ family.

Haas’ attorney, Scott Godshall, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer he had been planning to drive Haas to federal prison in New Jersey on Monday. His lawyer says Haas was apprehensive, but he seemed in good spirits when they talked last week.

Haas was accused of using a computer on Villanova’s campus to search the internet for child pornography. He pleaded guilty in September to accessing the internet with the intent to view child exploitation images.

Last March, CBS Philly reported that police were tipped by campus security personnel about Haas’ inappropriate use of a computer on campus. But, it was police follow-up with federal homeland security personnel that brought to light the federal probe of Haas’ activities downloading images from a website.

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