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Press Release

Middlesex County Man Charged with Possession, Receipt, and Distribution of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey man was charged with possessing, receiving, and distributing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Francisco Villafane, 37, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with one count of possession, one count of receiving, and one count of distributing child pornography. Villafane was arrested on Feb. 12, 2024, made his initial appearance on Feb. 13, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court, and was detained.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In 2020, Villafane communicated with a minor victim over text message. They lost contact but they communicated again in late 2023. Villafane exchanged sexually explicit content with the victim and solicited explicit material from victim, including videos of the victim engaging in sexual acts at Villafane’s request.

The charge of possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charges of receipt and distribution of child pornography each carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the Newark Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task force, under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and the Perth Amboy Police Department under the direction of Chief of Police Larry Cattano, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Rosenblum of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated February 14, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-055