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Child Exploitation

Man charged with distributing images of child sexual abuse over Internet

NEWARK, N.J. – A New Jersey man was arrested at his home Thursday after child pornography was discovered on his computer. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Joshua Babilonia, 23, of Fair Lawn, appeared Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court and was released on a $50,000 bond. He is subject to electronic monitoring, and cannot have access to children as a condition of his release.

According to court documents, on May 27, 2012, Babilonia distributed videos depicting child sexual abuse on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software. HSI special agents executed a search warrant Sept. 13, 2012, at his residence in Fair Lawn, seizing digital evidence that contained numerous videos depicting child sexual abuse, including material involving prepubescent minors and sadistic or masochistic conduct. Undercover law enforcement agents had previously downloaded three of the seized files from Babilonia on the peer-to-peer network.

If convicted of the charges, Babilonia faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.