Bergen County Man Charged with Possessing Explicit Images, Engaging in Sex Conversation with Minors
Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of Mr. Patrick W. Passenti, 27, Lodi, on the charges of Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography and Endangering The Welfare Of A Child.
According to a statement released by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, on Wednesday, October 16, following a months-long Internet child pornography investigation, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at the residence of Passentti.
Officials say the investigation revealed that Passenti used the Internet to view, download, or possess approximately 800 digital files depicting nude and/or sexually explicit prepubescent and pubescent minors.
Officials say Passenti also used social media and file-sharing applications to share with others approximately 128 files depicting nude or sexually explicit prepubescent and pubescent minors.
In addition, Passenti used several social media and file-sharing mobile applications to engage in online chat conversations officials said.
During at least two such online conversations, Passenti engaged in explicit dialogue with two underage girls and collected one or more nude or sexually explicit images from them.
Police arrested Passenti on October 16, in Paramus, NJ and charged with one count each of Distribution Of Child Pornography in an amount greater than 25 files, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(b)5(a)iii, a 2nd degree crime; Possession Of Explicit Images of Minors in an amount greater than 100 files, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24- 4(b)5(b)iii, a 3rd degree crime; and Endangering The Welfare Of A Minor in violation of
N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(b)5(b)iii, a 3rd degree crime.
This investigation remains ongoing.
Any parent or guardian who determines that their child has communicated with the online screen name “staywavyswazy” should contact the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit at (201) 226-5518.
Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would like to thank the Lodi Police Department for its assistance in this investigation.