FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2012
Defendant Allegedly Advertised and Distributed Images of Children Being Sexually Abused
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, N.J, man who allegedly advertised, distributed and collected images and videos of adults sexually exploiting infants and toddlers is expected in Newark federal court today to face an Indictment charging numerous related offenses, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The 8-count Indictment unsealed this morning charges Edward M. De Sear, 65, of Saddle River, N.J., with three counts of advertising child pornography, four counts of distributing child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.
De Sear – who at the time of his original arrest on a federal Complaint was a partner at the New York office of an international law firm – had been released on bail following his arrest on a Complaint charging him with one count of distribution. He was taken into custody again this morning in light of the nature of the additional charges.
According to the Indictment unsealed today and other documents filed in this case:
De Sear used an Internet-based peer-to-peer file-sharing program to advertise, distribute and download hundreds of images of child pornography. In seeking out “friends” on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network, De Sear used a picture of a young boy to represent him as his avatar, and invited individuals with usernames that contained terms such as “boy,” “child,” and “little” to join his peer-to-peer network.
De Sear named one of his file-sharing folders “BoysCute,” and made files with graphic, descriptive names available for sharing in his folders. He also allowed his “friends” to preview the content of his shared files in thumbnail view to select which files to download, and used the peer-to-peer program’s chat function to make specific offers to distribute and display child pornography with descriptive titles.
The chat messages sent by De Sear to an individual with the username “boycuddle2" included De Sear’s observation: “best are guys who have kids of their own to share . . . there is a network of those guys,” but it is “hard to get into that club without a kid[.]”
De Sear regularly viewed and shared child pornography from the kitchen of his home, sometimes leaving his computer running overnight so that the child pornography files he had selected using the file-sharing program could download while he slept.
In 2010, De Sear regularly logged onto the file-sharing program using his then-employer’s wireless “guest” network. During one of these sessions, De Sear distributed multiple child pornography files to an undercover law enforcement agent by having placed the files in his file-sharing folders on the peer-to-peer network.
De Sear faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison for each of the three advertising of child pornography charges. In addition, De Sear faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the four distribution of child pornography charges. De Sear faces up to 10 years in prison for the possession count. Each charge also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI Newark Division’s Cyber Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shirley U. Emehelu and Leslie Schwartz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: John Vazquez, Esq.; Michael Critchley Sr., Esq., Roseland, N.J.