Marking National Missing Children’s Day on May 25, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reiterated his “commitment to protect children and prosecute those who do them harm.”
Calling his office “a leader in the prosecution of child exploitation cases, building cases not only against offenders within the district, but also initiating prosecutions that have nationwide and international reach,” Fishman specifically cited nearly a score of 2011 child exploitation prosecutions, including two involving local men and child pornography.
On Jan. 4, Eric Prawetz of North Arlington was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison and 15 years of supervised release for distribution of child pornography. When law enforcement officers seized Prawetz’ laptop computer, it reportedly contained approximately 1,386 photographs and 232 videos of child pornography.
Prawetz, 26, admitted that he had been collecting child porn for approximately 12 years and that he distributed it via peer-to- peer software and through multiple email accounts.
On April 26, Richard Olivieri, 64, of Belleville pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with four counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child porn.
Olivieri admitted that, in February 2008, he emailed images of child porn to an undercover law enforcement officer in Ohio and that between February and July 2008, he possessed more than 600 such images on a computer at his residence.
Olivieri agreed to forfeit the computer and computer accessories he used to commit the offense, and he will be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing was scheduled for August.
“Child pornography isn’t entertainment,” Fishman said. “It is a permanent recording of the sexual abuse of children that reinjures its victims every time it is downloaded or watched.
“That anyone would prey on children in this way is appalling. Yet, these crimes are on the rise as modern technology affords easier access to children and communication among like-minded offenders.
“We have made a promise to criminals and concerned citizens: No matter how determined perpetrators are to abuse children, we are more determined to stop them.”
In pursuing child-exploitation prosecutions, Fishman’s office works with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Secret Service.
“In addition to these joint initiatives,” Fishman said, “the office is pursuing public awareness and community outreach efforts in a comprehensive approach.”
— Karen Zautyk