Former Parsippany Scout leader sentenced seven years on child pornography charges

During the court hearing Mr. Ferrante, Aurora Information Security & Risk, testifies as an expert in child pornography cases

Stephen Corcoran

PARSIPPANY — A former Boy Scout leader was sentenced to seven years in New Jersey State Prison following his conviction on eleven child pornography charges in a case brought by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

Stephen Corcoran, 49, was sentenced by Judge Thomas Critchley in state Superior Court, Morristown.

“The defendant did take advantage of his position of trust and confidence,”  said Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn, who handled the case for the state.

Judge Critchley noted that the crimes involved the “cruel and damaging exploitation of children.” 

Corcoran was found guilty April 12 on ten counts of endangering the welfare of a child by possessing child pornography on a thumb drive and one count of exhibiting or showing child pornography to someone else.

During testimony, Matthew Ferrante, Aurora Information and Security Risk, was Stephen Corcoran’s expert witness in his possessing and distributing child pornography.

Matthew Ferrante had testified that Aurora’s fee was about $100,000 over a three-year period for Mr. Corcoran.

Aurora Information and Security Risk founder Matthew Ferrante

Mr. Ferrante testified in court, that he participated in hundreds of child pornography investigations. During the court hearing Mr. Ferrante also testified as an expert in a child pornography cases.

Corcoran was sentenced to five years on the one count of showing child pornography to someone else and two years total on the ten counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Those terms will be served consecutively, bringing Corcoran’s total sentence to seven years in prison.

Corcoran also faces trial on sexually abusing three juveniles who were Boy Scouts in the 1990s. Those charges were severed from the pornography case and the jury was not told about them. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent on these charges unless, or until, he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

The case came to light in 2011 during an investigation into the alleged sexual assaults. Evidence presented at trial established that a witness disclosed that Corcoran had exhibited child pornography to him and law enforcement officials subsequently recovered a thumb drive containing child pornography images and videos from Corcoran’s home. Although under cross examination by Mr. Sean Pena, Esq. it was revealed there were other people’s data found on the thumb drive, as testified by Mr. Ferrante.

The investigation that led to Corcoran’s conviction was conducted by the Sex Crimes Child Endangerment and High Tech Crimes units of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Criminal Investigation Section of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department.