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Dunellen School Board President Accused of Distributing Explicit Images of Minors


Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that Phillip C. Heiney, the president of the Dunellen Board of Education, was arrested today on charges that he used a file-sharing network to share videos of explicit images of minors over the Internet.

Heiney, 67, was arrested early this morning when detectives and agents from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at his home in Dunellen. The investigators allegedly found numerous images and videos of explicit images of minors during a preliminary examination of computers owned by Heiney.

Heiney was charged with second-degree distribution of explicit images of minors and third-degree possession of explicit images of minors.

He was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail with bail set at $75,000, full cash.

Investigators seized more than 100 pieces of computer equipment at the home, including laptops, hard drives, thumb drives and other media storage devices, which were taken to the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Hamilton for full forensic examinations.

Heiney was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

A detective in the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit initiated an investigation into peer-to-peer file sharing on a file-sharing network popular with offenders who trade explicit images of minors.

The detective identified a computer address that was offering multiple files of explicit images of minors for any user to download from a shared file using file-sharing software. The detective successfully downloaded two videos of explicit images of minors from the shared folder at the targeted computer address in which adult males engaged in sexual acts with prepubescent girls. The IP address sharing the explicit images of minors was traced to Heiney’s residence. The State Police referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice.

The Division of Criminal Justice subsequently received information and evidence from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada, which had downloaded a video from a shared folder at the same IP address, traced to Heiney’s residence, showing an adult male engaging in a sexual act with a prepubescent girl who was blindfolded and bound with rope. The video also depicted sexually explicit conduct involving a dog and the bound girl.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig urged anyone with information about the distribution of explicit images of minors on the Internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children online or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.