TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Middlesex County man who possessed approximately 735 videos of child pornography on his computer was sentenced to state prison today for distributing child pornography on the internet. He was arrested last year in “Operation Safeguard,” a child pornography sweep conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey State Police.
Matthew Dieterman, 33, of Piscataway, N.J., was sentenced today to five years in state prison, including 2 ½ years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. in Middlesex County. Dieterman pleaded guilty on Aug. 25, 2017 to a second-degree charge of distribution of child pornography (knowingly storing or maintaining child pornography in a file-sharing program). He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life. In pleading guilty, Dieterman admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make multiple files containing child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer.
Deputy Attorney General Marie McGovern prosecuted Dieterman and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“The hundreds of videos of child pornography found on Dieterman’s computer represent hundreds of young lives ripped apart by sexual abuse and exploitation,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Offenders like Dieterman who distribute these abhorrent materials contribute directly to that abuse and belong in prison.”
“We’ll continue to monitor file-sharing networks vigilantly and conduct sweeps like Operation Safeguard to arrest these offenders and protect children,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’re putting criminals like Dieterman on notice that their internet activities are being conducted under the watchful eye of law enforcement.”
“Dieterman preyed on the most vulnerable and innocent victims to satisfy his sadistically depraved desires by compiling and distributing more than 700 hundred images of child pornography,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The New Jersey State Police and our law enforcement partners remain committed to protecting our children from the predators who circulate this filth on the internet.”
“Predators like this need to know that interagency cooperation ensures that such heinous activities like this are being monitored 24 x 7,” said Michael McCarthy, Acting Special Agent in Charge for HSI, Newark. “The expert investigative skills that HSI brings to the forefront helped close the loop on this individual, bringing him to much deserved justice.”
During Operation Safeguard, special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice, and detectives of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit monitored several online file-sharing networks that are popular with offenders who download and trade child pornography. Using advanced technology, the investigators searched for digital “fingerprints” of known child pornography and search terms used by such offenders. Through these and other methods, they identified New Jersey residents who were downloading child pornography and making child pornography available to others in “shared folders” on their computers.
Dieterman was arrested on March 4, 2016, when agents and detectives conducting Operation Safeguard executed a search warrant at his residence. A detective of ICE Homeland Security Investigations previously had downloaded 37 videos and images of child pornography from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Dieterman. During the search, detectives seized a computer belonging to Dieterman that a preview revealed contained numerous files of child pornography. The Piscataway Police Department assisted in the operation. A full forensic examination of the computer by HSI revealed a total of 735 videos of child pornography and nine additional images of child pornography.
Deputy Attorney General Marie McGovern, Deputy Attorney General Lilianne Daniel, former Detective Tiffany Lenart, former Detective Laura Hurley, and Detective Abraham Aquino handled the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, in collaboration with HSI agents and detectives of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Honig urged anyone who has information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or who suspects improper contact by 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.
Defense Attorney: Vernon Estreicher, Esq., New Brunswick, N.J.
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