|TRENTON –Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a Bergen County man was sentenced to prison today for distributing child pornography on the Internet. He was arrested in “Operation Ever Vigilant,” a child pornography sweep conducted in 2013 by the New Jersey State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and federal partners.
Joseph Lorz, 30, of Bergenfield, N.J., was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti in Bergen County. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 9, 2016 to a charge of second-degree distribution of child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
In pleading guilty, Lorz admitted he knowingly used file-sharing software to make multiple files of child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. A forensic examination of computer equipment seized from him in Operation Ever Vigilant revealed numerous images and videos of child pornography, including images of prepubescent girls being raped by adult men.
Deputy Attorney General Lilianne Daniel prosecuted Lorz and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Lorz was charged in 2013, before Governor Christie signed New Jersey’s tough new child pornography law, which substantially enhanced the penalties for those who possess, distribute or manufacture child pornography.
“Those who view child pornography online promote and create a market for the brutal sexual exploitation of innocent children,” said Attorney General Porrino. “We’re making it a top priority to protect children by aggressively prosecuting all offenders who traffic in this filth.”
“We will continue to conduct law enforcement sweeps like Operation Ever Vigilant to send a clear message to offenders that if they share these abhorrent materials online, they will end up in prison,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We want those who collect child pornography to know that every image they download will become evidence against them.”
“We will do everything within our power to make sure that the depraved individuals who choose to share these horrific videos and images are removed from society and put into prison where they belong,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Operation Ever Vigilant was a three-month investigation conducted by the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU), the Division of Criminal Justice, other members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and federal agents from the U.S. Postal Service. It resulted in arrests of 24 men and one juvenile male in February 2013.
During the investigation, detectives monitored a file-sharing network popular with sex offenders and linked all of the defendants to alleged use of the Internet to download and distribute images of child pornography. Peer to Peer, or P2P, file sharing networks play a major role in the distribution of child pornography. There is a large library of images and videos known to law enforcement, and these electronic files can be traced in various ways on the Internet. Detectives traced transferred files to their origin and destination locations, downloading child pornography that the defendants allegedly offered from their computers on the P2P network.
The file-sharing networks used by offenders to distribute child pornography operate in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Those in possession of the illegal images can make them available on computers that they control for others to download. Because many of these videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.
Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig urged anyone who has information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or who suspects improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
David C. Russo, Esq., Russo & Russo, P.C., Teaneck, N.J.
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