The Mount Pleasant police chief is under house arrest after being charged with possessing child pornography.

Chief Brian Fanelli, 54, was arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and accused of downloading and sharing more than 120 images of child pornography.

Fanelli claims it was being used as research for sexual abuse and awareness classes he was teaching. Fanelli had no comment last night as he and his wife left the Federal Courthouse in White Plains.

The Mount Pleasant town supervisor says the police department will continue to protect and serve, despite the chief's arrest. "He has been suspended and his responsibilities will be taken care of by other members of the police department, and we will move forward on the investigation. We are just terribly disturbed, it's a story no one wants to hear," says Supervisor Joan Maybury.

Chief Fanelli did not enter a plea in court. He was released on $50,000 bail, but has to wear a monitoring bracelet and remain at his Mahopac home.

He is being paid during his suspension.