Teacher among 16 arrested in New Jersey on child porn charges

Acting New Jersey Attorney General Robert Lougy says authorities are monitoring online file sharing sites to detect child pornography offenders. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Acting New Jersey Attorney General Robert Lougy says authorities are monitoring online file sharing sites to detect child pornography offenders. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Sixteen defendants in New Jersey face child pornography charges after allegedly using an online file-sharing network to download videos showing the sexual abuse of young children.

Those arrested in the state and federal probe range in age from 16 to 72, said state Attorney General Robert Lougy.

“They include a fifth-rade teacher at Winslow Elementary School in Vineland, a bus driver for the Sparta School District, a 17-year-old from Hudson County who had 122 files of child porn on his computer and who was selling child pornography to other users on the Internet in exchange for Amazon gift cards,” Loughy said during a Wednesday news conference.

Authorities have charged 36-year-old Thomas Guzzi Jr. of Pitman, who is a teacher at the Winslow Elementary School in Vineland, with possessing 100 or more files.

Fifty-five-year-old Eugene Triston of Stanhope, who drives a school bus in Sparta, is charged with distributing 25 or more files.

The arrests send a message that such behavior is a serious crime, he said.

“Anyone who links themselves to this network of users, we will come after with the full extent of the penalties that we have,” Loughy said. “And we want them to know that we’re watching. We’re monitoring the networks where these things are going on, and we’re using those and other investigative techniques to identify those users in New Jersey.”

Offenders who recirculate the reprehensible videos motivate the child predators who make them to produce more, he said.

If convicted, those arrested could face five to 10 years in prison.

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