Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Anthony Laterza, 70, of Berkeley Township, has been arrested and charged with three counts of Possession of Explicit Images of Minors.
The investigation leading to Laterza’s arrest was initiated as a result of a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, through the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; this referral identified a suspect residing in Berkeley Township as downloading explicit images of minors.
According to officials, on November 12, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, United States Homeland Security Investigations and Berkeley Township Police Department, executed a search warrant on Laterza’s residence in Berkeley Township.
Officials report that as a result of the search, electronic devices were seized from the residence; a forensic review of those devices revealed apparent explicit images of minors.
According to police, Laterza was arrested and processed at Berkeley Township Police Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.
“It is our understanding that this defendant serves a Deacon at a church in Lakehurst, as such we have made appropriate notifications,” Prosecutor Billhimer said.
Prosecutor Billhimer reminds the public that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.