Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Mercer County man who had more than 12,000 files of images exploiting children for personal stimulation on his computer devices pleaded guilty today to distributing such images online through a peer-to-peer network.
According to authorities, Matthew Brutto, 32, of Ewing, pleaded guilty today to a second-degree charge of distribution of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw in Mercer County.
Officials say under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Brutto is sentenced to five years in state prison, including 2 ½ 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.
In pleading guilty, Brutto admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make multiple files of child exploitation readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer.
Sentencing for Brutto is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau were monitoring an online file-sharing network that is popular with offenders who download and trade child pornography when they identified a computer address that was sharing images exploiting children.
Police say on three separate dates in March 2018, the detectives successfully downloaded a total of 42 files being shared from that IP address, which was traced to Brutto’s home in Ewing.
According to authorities, on April 10th, detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice, assisted by a special agent of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and Ewing Police Department, executed a search warrant at Brutto’s home, arresting him and seizing his computer devices.
The computer devices were brought to the Division of Criminal Justice Forensics Laboratory in Hamilton, where a forensic examination revealed over 12,000 videos and images exploiting children for sexual stimulation on a computer hard drive.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.