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Boonton Senior Resident Charged with Possession of Explicit Images of Minors


By: Richard L. Smith

A Boonton senior citizen resident was arrested for distributing videos and images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Wednesday.

According to federal officials, Mr. William Harbeson, 82, is charged by complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography.

He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court on November 22nd and was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2022 to September 2022, Harbeson distributed videos of child sexual abuse via a publicly available online peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program.

An undercover law enforcement officer conducted online sessions using the P2P program, during which a user shared hundreds of videos and images of child sexual abuse from an IP address traced to Harbeson’s address.

After a lawful search of his residence, law enforcement officers recovered at least 38 videos and 351 images of child sexual abuse on Harbeson’s hard drive.

The count of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel, with the investigation leading to the charges.