TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Jersey City man was sentenced to state prison today for explicitly assaulting a young girl and distributing explicit images of minors using an online file-sharing network.
Officials say, Jose Roman, 75, of Jersey City, N.J., was sentenced to 15 years in state prison without the possibility of parole by Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Mendendez in Hudson County.
Roman pleaded guilty on April 16, to charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree impairing or debauching the morals of a minor, and second-degree distributing explicit images of a minor (storing or maintaining child pornography using a file-sharing program). He will be required to register as an offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Lilianne Daniel took the guilty plea and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau. She prosecuted Roman with Deputy Attorneys General Jamie Picard and Layli Khelafa, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Brandy Malfitano. Roman was charged in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Jersey City Police Department.
“As Roman illustrates, there is a real risk that offenders who collect videos of minors being explicitly abused will also assault children themselves,” said Attorney General Grewal. “That is why we thoroughly investigate any offender arrested for explicit images of minors to determine if there is evidence of such hands-on conduct. This lengthy prison sentence removes Roman from the community so that he can no longer harm minors.”
“We are committed to vigilantly patrolling the internet and social media to arrest offenders like Roman, who pose a danger to minors because of their deviant impulses,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Protecting minors from this type of abuse and exploitation is a top priority of the Division of Criminal Justice and our law enforcement partners.”
“The abuse and victimization caused by Roman is not just confined to the sexual assault he perpetrated. Each time Roman made the decision to share these horrific videos, he continued to inflict pain upon other assault victims,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “Our commitment to pursuing minor predators like Roman and bringing them to justice should send a clear message that we will use all of the tools at our disposal to arrest these offenders and protect our most precious resource which is our minors.”
Roman was arrested in 2015 by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, and Jersey City Police Department. The investigation began when a detective with the Division of Criminal Justice Cyber Crimes Unit identified a computer address that was sharing numerous files of explicit images on a file-sharing network. A detective with the State Police Digital Technology Investigation Unit (DTIU) subsequently downloaded 12 files of explicit images of minors from a shared folder at that computer address. The computer address was traced to the residence where Roman was living in Jersey City.
Roman was arrested on Nov. 17, 2015, when the investigating agencies executed a search warrant at his residence. When detectives entered the residence, Roman was watching a video of explicit images of minors on his computer. Detectives seized the computer, as well as four boxes of DVDs and CDs, which were later determined to include more than 500 videos of explicit images of minors representing copies of videos Roman had downloaded online.
Further investigation, conducted with assistance from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, revealed that Roman had explicitly assaulted a prepubescent minor girl.