|TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a Monmouth County man has been arrested for allegedly using a file-sharing network to distribute approximately 100 images and videos of child pornography over the Internet from his home computer.
Steven Robinson, 48, of Neptune City, N.J., was arrested yesterday at his home by detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice, assisted by the Neptune City Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. He was charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of child pornography. Robinson was lodged in the Monmouth County Jail.
“The tragedy of child pornography is that children are tortured and sexually exploited to supply the market for these vile materials, and they are perpetually re-victimized when these images are shared online,” said Attorney General Porrino. “We’ll continue to work aggressively with our law enforcement partners to arrest those responsible for these horrendous crimes.”
“With arrests such as this one, we’re putting those who share child pornography via the Internet on notice that their activities are being monitored by law enforcement and they will face serious punishment if caught,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We want these offenders to know that the next search warrant we execute may be at their house.”
Robinson was arrested as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, Computer Analysis & Technology Unit. A detective was monitoring an online file-sharing network that is popular with offenders who download and trade child pornography. Using advanced technology, the detective searched for telltale digital “fingerprints” of known child pornography. Through these and other methods, the detective identified a computer address that was sharing child pornography, and, on three separate occasions, successfully downloaded a total of approximately 100 files of child pornography. The files included videos showing pre-pubescent girls being raped or being coerced into performing sexual acts on themselves or others. The computer address was traced to Robinson’s home in Neptune City. Detectives executed a search warrant at Robinson’s home yesterday, arresting Robinson and seizing computer equipment. The equipment was brought to the Division of Criminal Justice Forensics Laboratory in Hamilton, Mercer County, for a full forensic examination.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Under the child pornography law signed by Governor Christie in 2013, distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility of five years. The law imposes strict liability on Internet file sharers, placing responsibility on the user for having child pornography in a “shared folder.” Whether or not the user knew he was sharing or any other user ever downloaded the file is irrelevant. If a defendant is convicted of possessing 25 or more files in a shared folder on his computer, he is subject to a mandatory minimum prison term of five years without parole.
In addition, under the new law, possession of 100 or more files of child pornography carries a presumption that the defendant will face a prison term of three to five years, whether or not the defendant has any prior criminal convictions.
The charges against Robinson are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
If you have information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or suspect improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children, please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined.
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