Child Porn Sweep Nets Many

by Copyright 2004 NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. | Jan 28, 2005
Child Porn Sweep Nets Many In New Jersey, more than three-dozen suspects were arrested in a huge child porn sweep.

Investigators went high tech to track pictures and video sent over the Internet. The technology traced kiddie porn files shared over the Internet to 42 computer addresses in the Garden State. In a number of cases, investigators found evidence of child porn, despite software designed to permanently erase files and remove Web site traces.

At a news conference Thursday, the state showed mug shots of most of the people arrested over the previous 24 hours for possessing and distributing child pornography. One of the suspects is a registered sex offender in Ocean County.

"It is some of the most offensive material in the child pornography world. ... It is a (video of a) 5-year-old girl being raped by an adult male," said Peter Harvey, the New Jersey attorney general.

James Bidwell, police say, is the man in the video, which showed the molestation and rape in a series of video clips.

New Jersey State Police broke the case on a tip from authorities who saw the video and the list of who was receiving it and distributing it.

"You have to go looking for that, and these individuals did and we went looking for them. We found them and they found us," Harvey said.

"There was a high school coach, there was a pediatric neurosurgeon, there was a lawyer," said Superintendent Rick Fuentes, of the New Jersey State Police Department.

Investigators said they arrested 39 alleged offenders from 19 of New Jersey's 21 counties. Some people say that possessing child pornography is a victimless crime.

"I'm against it. It's a terrible thing. What he does in his house, as long as it doesn't affect other people, to me is his own business," said Diane Donavan.

But authorities say any kind of child pornography is not harmless.

"We say, 'No,' because when you download into your home and view it you are creating a market in this country, Europe and elsewhere to be exploited," Harvey said.

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Author: Copyright 2004 by NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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