Timothy O'Connell, associate director of campus ministry at Villanova University, has been arrested and charged in a federal investigation of an alleged child pornographer who used the instant messaging app Kik to transmit sexually explicit images of a toddler to others, officials said.

In a criminal complaint dated Wednesday, FBI Special Agent Daron Schreirer said O'Connell, 51, of Drexel Hill, admitted using Kik accounts "to communicate with others about the exploitation of children."

O'Connell also acknowledged communicating with Justyn Perez-Colon, who is charged with sharing sexually explicit images via Kik of an 18-month-old girl who lived in the same house as Perez-Colon, according to the criminal complaint. O'Connell told FBI agents he received images of the toddler.

An analysis of Perez-Colon's iPhone led investigators to O'Connell through a Gmail account that he accessed both at home and at his Villanova office, the complaint said.

O'Connell, who is charged with one count of receipt of child pornography, told FBI agents he was sexually attracted to a third grader he once babysat and a 17-year-old whose picture he took while she was clothed and sleeping at his home.

Villanova said O'Connell has been suspended and is barred from campus.

A detention hearing for O'Connell is set for Friday.

In January 2017, a longtime Villanova professor was found dead two days before he was to begin serving a 20-month federal prison term for child pornography charges.

The death of Christopher Haas, 60, was ruled a suicide.

The investigation of Haas began in 2016 after a cybersecurity firm hired by the university detected that he was accessing child pornography from his office computer.