TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that an Atlantic County man was sentenced to state prison today for using a file-sharing network to share images and videos of child pornography over the Internet from his home computer.
Harvey Scott Wescoat, 51, of Hammonton, N.J., was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Albert J. Garofolo in Atlantic County. Wescoat pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 to second-degree offering of child pornography. In pleading guilty, Wescoat admitted that he used peer-to-peer file-sharing software to make images and videos of child pornography readily available for other users to download from a “shared folder” on his computer.
Deputy Attorney General Naju R. Lathia prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
Acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a website that was offering child pornography, members of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit obtained records of activity on the website. As a result, they identified a computer address in New Jersey that was being used to download child pornography. Detectives subsequently downloaded images of child pornography from the computer address on a file-sharing network and traced the computer address to Wescoat’s residence in Hammonton. Wescoat was arrested at his home on May 21, 2010. Prior to his arrest, detectives did a preliminary review of a personal computer in Wescoat’s basement, with his consent, and found images and videos of child pornography. A later forensic examination of the computer at the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in Hamilton, Mercer County, revealed over 200 files of suspected child pornography.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Sgt. Gregory Godish, Detective Christopher Camm and Lt. Stanley Field of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007.