Hudson County, New Jersey, Man Charged With Sexually Exploiting Girl, Taking Pictures Of The Abuse
NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City, New Jersey, man is charged today with coercing a minor family member to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he photographed the abuse, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Felix Restitullo, 40, is charged by complaint with one count of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography. He appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court and remains in custody.
According to the criminal complaint:
Restitullo resided with his mother, who acted as caregiver to children, including a girl who is a member of Restitullo’s family. On March 13, 2014, as a result of an ongoing investigation into the sexual abuse of minor children, law enforcement officers interviewed the girl. During the interview, she told the officers that Restitullo had engaged her in sexual acts on prior occasions, which he photographed using a camera.
On March 13, 2014, Restitullo was arrested by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for, among other things, aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of the girl. After the arrest, officers lawfully obtained a camera, multiple computers and electronic storage media belonging to Restitullo from his bedroom. Approximately 13 images of child pornography, believed to be images of the girl’s sexual assault, were found on the storage media. Overall, officers found more than 1,500 images and 200 videos of child pornography, including images of child sexual abuse.
The sexual exploitation of children charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Wangenheim of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Mario Blanch Esq., West New York, New Jersey