FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. – A Manalapan, N.J., woman is charged with the sexual exploitation of a 5-year-old girl after allegedly abusing the girl on more than one occasion and streaming footage of a sexual assault over the Internet, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced.
A Complaint filed today charges Jennifer Mahoney, 32, with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. She is currently in state custody on related charges and is scheduled to appear in Trenton federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni on Jan. 30, 2012.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 executed a search warrant at Mahoney’s home in Manalpan 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 computer three videos of Mahoney having sexual contact with a child. Mahoney had live-streamed one of the assaults to the man over video chat.
Two of the videos were of the video chat session, in which Mahoney is shown molesting the child while laughing and talking to someone, apparently the party on the other end of the chat session. The third video depicts Mahoney sexually abusing the child in a bathtub while filming it with her phone.
Each charge of sexual exploitation of children carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr., with the investigation leading to the federal charges.
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 government is represented 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 in Washington.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.