For Immediate Release: May 8, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
– Pearl Minato, Director
TRENTON, N.J. – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against a Montclair State University (MSU) student who was arrested at his residence on the school’s campus in Essex County, NJ, for allegedly possessing and creating Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Material (CSAEM) involving children he contacted online. The arrest is the result of an investigation led by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Cybercrime Bureau/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.
Keyon Luff, 21, of Edgewater Park, NJ, is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child for manufacturing CSAEM, second-degree sexual assault, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child for possession of CSAEM, and third-degree impersonation.
Luff, a junior at MSU, was taken into custody after detectives with the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau, assisted by the Montclair State University Police Department (MSUPD), executed a search warrant on Luff’s dorm room shortly before 7 a.m. on May 3, 2023. As a result of the search, detectives seized numerous digital devices from Luff’s room and determined that Luff was not only in possession of CSAEM, but also created fictitious social media accounts to contact underage children and engage in sexually explicit conversations. In some of those conversations, Luff directed children to perform sexual acts, record them, and send them to him via social media platforms. Luff was processed by MSUPD and transported to the Essex County Jail where he is being held pending a detention hearing.
“I commend the work of the dedicated men and women of the Division of Criminal Justice for their ongoing work on this case and the countless other cases against individuals who use the internet as a means to gain access into the lives of children,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Through our tireless efforts, we are working to identify and bring to justice those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable members of society – our children.”
The investigation that led to Luff’s arrest was initiated by the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau following a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that assists with the location of missing children, reduction in child sexual exploitation, and prevention of child victimization. It also is an international clearing house that gathers information from law enforcement agencies and the public regarding issues of missing and exploited children. Cybertips are also reported to NCMEC when there is an allegation of a child being exploited over the Internet. NCMEC will then disseminate the information to the appropriate agencies for investigation.
Specifically, in this investigation, NCMEC reported that a cloud-based file hosting service reported that several files of suspected CSAEM were uploaded to its platform. Through investigative measures, investigators were able to determine that the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to upload the CSAEM files was associated with Montclair State University. Further investigation identified Luff as a suspect.
Deputy Attorney General Robert Guarni is prosecuting the case for the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau, under the Supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lisa Rastelli, Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter, and Deputy Director Derek Nececkas. The investigation was led by the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau under the supervision of Lieutenant Richard DaSilva.
Attorney General Platkin thanked the Montclair State University Police Department and its Detective Bureau for their assistance.
First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.