A longtime Villanova University professor was found dead on Saturday, two days before he was scheduled to begin serving a 20-month federal prison term for child pornography charges.
Christopher Haas, 60, was declared dead at 5:10 p.m. Saturday, David Daugherty, chief deputy coroner for Chester County, said Monday. He said the death was not suspicious, but declined to disclose the cause or manner until after he notifies Haas' family.
Scott Godshall, Haas’ attorney, did not speculate on the professor's death except to say the timing was "worrisome.”
He said he had been planning to drive Haas on Monday to the federal prison at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Haas was apprehensive about going to prison, as anyone would be, but he seemed in good spirits when they talked last week, his lawyer said.
A history professor, Haas was accused of using a computer on Villanova's campus to search the internet for child pornography from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on March 21 and 22, 2016. He pleaded guilty in September to one count of accessing the internet with the intent to view child exploitation images and was sentenced last month.
"He was doing everything he could to make sure this never happened again," Godshall said. "A good man with a bad disease.”
Godshall said his client was living at a Paoli apartment and had come to the area from Kansas for his position at Villanova. Haas had a wife and two sons.
In 2012, Haas went missing and police in Radnor Township feared he was suicidal after finding a note he wrote suggesting he might harm himself. State police found him unharmed.