Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the arrest and detention of a Trenton man.
Detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit recently received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual in Mercer County was distributing explicit images of minors.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, an investigation was initiated and Kevin Pearsall, 30, of Trenton, was identified as a subject.
Prosecutor Onofri said that on February 11, detectives with the prosecutor’s office detained Pearsall without incident at the Hamilton Walmart where he is employed.
Pearsall’s cell phone was seized pursuant to a search warrant, and approximately 30 videos depicting explicit images of minors were located, including one that Pearsall shared with another person.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, Pearsall was charged with the distribution of explicit images of minors, possession with the intent to distribute explicit images of minors and possession of explicit images of minors.
Prosecutor Onofri said that Detectives continued their investigation and discovered that Pearsall and the other individual engaged in the exchange of explicit images of minors as well as explicit conversation regarding abuse and the exploitation of minors.
Additionally, evidence was obtained that Pearsall actively promoted and directed the explicit assault and abuse of a five-year-old child during the conversation with this other individual.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office filed additional charges against Pearsall, including two counts of aggravated explicit assault as an accomplice, conspiracy to commit aggravated explicit assault and endangering the welfare of a minor as an accomplice.
The investigation of the individual Pearsall conversed with is active and ongoing.
Prosecutor Onofri urged anyone with information about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to please contact his Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit at 609-989-6568 or the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.