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Rutgers Instructor Charged with Using University Computer to Share Videos of Child Pornography Over Internet

TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Rutgers University instructor has been arrested on charges that he used a computer in his university office to share hundreds of videos of child pornography over the Internet.

According to Director Taylor, Gavin Swiatek, 49, a biochemistry instructor on the Rutgers University Cook Campus in New Brunswick, was arrested late yesterday afternoon at his home in Hillsborough by members of the New Jersey State Police. He was charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession of child pornography. Swiatek was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail with bail set at $50,000. He was charged as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) and the Division of Criminal Justice Computer Analysis & Technology Unit.

“Those who view and distribute child pornography contribute to the tragic exploitation of

children, because they fuel the demand that drives suppliers to produce these abhorrent materials,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “The charges against this individual are very serious.”

“We want to send a powerful deterrent message to anyone who would consider linking themselves into the vile network of suppliers and users of child pornography,” said Director Taylor. “They will find themselves behind bars like this man. We will continue to partner with the New Jersey State Police to aggressively investigate and prosecute these cases.”

“Our detectives proactively hunt for people trading images of child porn. Some would believe that what they view in private will never become public, but when it comes to victimizing children, we will work to expose every illegal act,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

The New Jersey State Police DTIU determined that a computer user on the Rutgers University campus was using peer-to-peer file sharing technology to make child pornography readily available to Internet users worldwide. The State Police, who were assisted by the Rutgers University Police Department and Rutgers Office of Information Technology, traced the source of the child pornography to Swiatek's office at Rutgers University. Swiatek allegedly shared hundreds of files containing child pornography, mostly videos, using the peer-to-peer technology. State Police detectives seized Swiatek's university computer from his office. Investigators also executed a search warrant and seized a laptop computer and digital media from Swiatek and from his home.

The investigation was led by Detective Paul Sciortino of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit and Deputy Attorney General Kenneth R. Sharpe of the Division of Criminal Justice Computer Analysis & Technology Unit. Attorney General Chiesa thanked the Rutgers University Police Department and Rutgers Office of Information Technology for their valuable assistance.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.

The charges in the complaint against Swiatek are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.

If you have information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or suspect improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children, please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007.

 

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