Manalapan, n.J., woman pleads guilty to sexually abusing girl, streaming assault live over the internet
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. – A Manalapan, N.J., woman pleaded guilty today to the production of child pornography through the sexual exploitation of a five-year-old girl, admitting to 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.
Jennifer Mahoney, 33, pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with one count of the sexual exploitation of a child. She entered her guilty plea in Trenton federal court before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper.
“Today, Jennifer Mahoney admitted that she sexually abused a five-year old girl entrusted to her care and then shared recordings of that abuse over the Internet,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “This horrible crime is a stark example of how harmful ‘child pornography’ is, and how its young victims bear not just the physical and emotional scars of violent sexual assault, but lifelong trauma as others repeatedly watch. Those like Mahoney, who create and feed the market, perpetuate unimaginable suffering for the children they abuse.”
“Ms. Mahoney sexually abused a five-year-old girl and streamed footage of this abuse to others over the Internet,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Now that she has pleaded guilty to these reprehensible crimes, she faces a minimum of 15 years in prison. No prison sentence can repair the damage she has caused, or restore the innocence of the child she abused. But, she and other child predators should know this: we in law enforcement will use every measure available to us to prevent and deter child exploitation, and to punish men or women who still succeed in committing the kind of horrific crimes to which Ms. Mahoney has now confessed.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Mahoney admitted she sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl and streamed the assault live over the Internet via Skype – a video chat service. Mahoney also admitted that on another occasion last year, she abused the girl, recorded the abuse on her iPhone, and e-mailed the video to at least one other person.
Additionally, Mahoney admitted to viewing other videos of child sexual abuse streamed to her using Skype.
Special agents of the FBI and other law enforcement 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 computer three videos of Mahoney having sexual contact with a child.
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.
The 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. Sentencing is currently set for Aug. 22, 2012. In the interim, Mahoney will remain in state custody on related charges.
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.
Defense counsel: Herbert I. Ellis Esq., Freehold, N.J.