WASHINGTON – A Manalapan, N.J., woman was charged today for allegedly sexually abusing a five-year-old girl on more than one occasion and streaming footage of a sexual assault over the Internet, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
A complaint filed today in the District of New Jersey charges Jennifer Mahoney, 32, with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. She is currently in state custody on related charges and will appear in Trenton, N.J., federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bongiovanni on Jan. 30, 2012.
“Ms. Mahoney is charged with committing heinous acts of sexual violence against a young child and then streaming her crimes over the Internet,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “These allegations are shocking in their depravity. When individuals exploit children for any purpose, we must act swiftly and decisively to hold them accountable.”
“According to the complaint, Jennifer Mahoney sexually assaulted a child, cavalierly recording and sharing the girl’s humiliation over video chat,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “We cannot forget that for every image or video of what we call ‘child pornography,’ a child will carry the lifelong scars of rape and abuse recorded for others’ gratification. Whether making, distributing or viewing child pornography, the depraved appetites of offenders create a market for the destruction of a child’s innocence.”
“The sexual exploitation of children continues to be a primary law enforcement concern, and this case is among the most egregious in that it involves manufacture and dissemination elements, which is the engine that drives the problem,” said Michael B. Ward, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Field Office. “Conduct like this can forever shatter the innocence of a 5-year-old child, allegedly for the pleasure of Jennifer Mahoney and an Internet partner. The impact on the victim, family and others is immeasurable.”
According to the complaint filed today in Trenton federal court, special agents of the FBI and other law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Mahoney’s home in Manalapan on Dec. 13, 2011. Law enforcement had previously seized a computer during a search of a man’s Texas home. Subsequent to both searches, law enforcement recovered from the Texas man’s computer three videos of Mahoney having sexual contact with a child.
According to court documents, two of the videos are from a video chat session with the Texas man in which Mahoney allegedly live-streamed an assault of the child. The video shows Mahoney molesting the child while laughing and talking to someone, apparently the party on the other end of the chat session. The complaint alleges that the third video depicts Mahoney sexually abusing the child in a bathtub while filming it with her phone.
Each charge of child sexual exploitation carries a mandatory minimum penalty of
15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force in New Jersey under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark and agents of the FBI’s San Antonio Division. The Monmouth County, N.J., Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr., also assisted in the investigation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton and CEOS Trial Attorney Keith A. Becker of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.