Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Flemington man was sentenced to state prison after being convicted at trial of using a file-sharing network to distribute explicit images of minors.
He was one of 40 offenders arrested in “Operation Statewide,” a child protection operation by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
John M. Rudy, 57, of Flemington, N.J., was sentenced today to seven years in state prison, including five years of parole ineligibility.
He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Rudy was found guilty on January 14 in a jury trial of second-degree charges of distribution of 25 or more items of explicit images of minors and storing or maintaining 25 or more items of explicit images of minors using a file-sharing network, and third-degree possession of 100 or more items of explicit images of minors.
“We will continue to work with the State Police and law enforcement at all levels to disrupt the online market for these vile materials and send those who distribute them to prison,” Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice said. “We are sending a loud and clear message that those who commit these crimes will face serious consequences.”
While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a detective of the New Jersey State Police DTIU downloaded more than 50 items of material depicting explicit images of minors from a shared folder at a computer IP address that was subsequently traced to Rudy.
Rudy was arrested on June 9, 2016, when members of the DTIU, assisted by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and the Raritan Township Police Department, executed a search warrant at his home and seized numerous devices, including a desktop computer, 97 flash drives, and eight SD cards.
Forensic examinations revealed the flash drives and SD cards contained explicit images of minors, and one contained over 100 items of such material.
Operation Statewide was a multi-agency child protection operation coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as the lead agency for the New Jersey ICAC Task Force, which led to arrests of 40 men in 2016, including defendants in every county of New Jersey.
During the operation, investigators linked all of the defendants to the alleged use of the internet to download and distribute explicit images of minors. Peer to Peer, or P2P, file-sharing networks play a major role in the distribution of such materials.
Due to the fact that many of the explicit images of minors shared on these networks keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urge 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 via the internet or possible exploitation of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.