Union County Teacher Charged with Production of Child Pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for producing a video depicting images of child sexual abuse and receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Michael Hamilton, 51, of Springfield, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count each of production, receipt and possession of child pornography. He made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From February 2023 through July 2023, Hamilton, a high school teacher, began an exchange with a minor victim on a messaging platform. Hamilton and the minor victim exchanged hundreds of sexually explicit messages, pictures, and videos, many of which constituted child pornography depicting the minor victim.
The charge of production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of receipt of child exploitation material carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of child exploitation material carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited FBI Newark’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. U.S. Attorney Sellinger also thanked the Springfield Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
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 Rebecca Sussman of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated October 13, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-303
Project Safe Childhood