NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, man today admitted distributing images of child sexual abuse over the internet, U.S. Craig Carpenito announced.
Samuel LaSala, 47, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of distributing Explicit Images of Minors.
According to documents filed in this case and statements in court:
LaSala, who was employed as a computer programmer at a New Jersey university, admitted that between May 2017 and January 2018 he possessed videos of child abuse on his laptop computer and made those videos available for others to download via an online peer-to-peer file sharing network. He admitted possessing approximately 100 videos, which included images of prepubescent children.
The count of distribution of Explicit Images of Minors to which LaSala pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years, and a maximum fine of $250,000. As part of his guilty plea, LaSala agreed to forfeit the computer he used to commit the offense. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Child Exploitation Group, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.