Morris County Man Charged with Distribution of Child Pornography

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BOONTON — A Morris County man was arrested for distributing videos and images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

William Harbeson, 82, of Boonton, is charged by complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court on November 22 and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2022 to September 2022, Harbeson distributed videos of child sexual abuse via a publicly available online peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program. An undercover law enforcement officer conducted online sessions using the P2P program, during which a user shared hundreds of videos and images of child sexual abuse from an IP address traced to Harbeson’s address. Subsequent to a lawful search of his residence, law enforcement officers recovered at least 38 videos and 351 images of child sexual abuse on Harbeson’s hard drive.

The count of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Farhana C. Melo of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

Click here to read a copy of the complaint.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or signing of a criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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