TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Mercer County man who had more than 12,000 files of child pornography on his computer devices pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography online through a peer-to-peer network.
Matthew Brutto, 32, of Ewing, N.J., pleaded guilty today to a second-degree charge of distribution of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw in Mercer County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Brutto be 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 pornography readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer. Sentencing for Brutto is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas T. Huynh prosecuted Brutto and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Brutto was arrested earlier this year as the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice.
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 child pornography. On three separate dates in March 2018, the detectives successfully downloaded a total of 42 files of child pornography being shared from that IP address, which was traced to Brutto’s home in Ewing. On April 10, 2018, 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 of child pornography on a computer hard drive.
“Offenders like Brutto who share child pornography online perpetuate the victimization of the children who are sexually assaulted to produce these vile materials, and they further motivate those who commit these horrific assaults,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Protecting children is our highest priority, and we will continue to collaborate across all levels of law enforcement to send these offenders to prison.”
“Offenders like Brutto may collect thousands of files of child pornography over an extended period of time, but we want them to know that law enforcement will ultimately catch up with them,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “When we do, they will face serious punishment for their crimes – punishment that may be stricter due to the extent of their collections and their distribution activities.”
Attorney General Grewal commended Deputy Attorney General Huynh and the detectives who conducted the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Attorney General Grewal also thanked U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ewing Police Department for their valuable assistance.
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 exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Christopher Olsen, Esq., Somerville, N.J.
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