The suspect's wife rushed from the courthouse, but said nothing after Alfonso Marino was arraigned.
Marino was arrested after a raid on his home Wednesday morning in Bellmore.
Investigators say he admitted to downloading a variety of pornographic images of children, some as young as 7 and no older than 10.
According to court papers, the images showed "preteen female children involved in various sexual activities." The papers also "indicated that he had been collecting child pornography for about 10 years and that he had not touched anyone."
His neighbors watched the raid in disbelief.
Marino, they said, has lived there for more than 30 years.
The arrest was made by child exploitation agents for the Department of Homeland Security, who routinely monitor publicly-accessible internet file-sharing sites.
New York City School officials say he worked at Flushing High School as a substitute teacher for four days in May of 2011, but his precise employment history could not immediately be confirmed.
Agents seized his computer as well as two loaded and unlicensed handguns.
"Marino indicated he didn't need to lie about anything, because he knew why the agents were there," prosecutors said. "He told his wife that he was going to be arrested for child pornography, and he explained to her why he had done it."
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