New York Partner in International Law Firm Arrested, Charged with Distributing Child Pornography

NEWARK, NJ—A partner at the New York office of an international law firm was arrested today by FBI agents and federally charged with distributing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Edward M. De Sear, 64, of Saddle River, N.J., is charged by Complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court, and was released on a $250,000 bond with electronic monitoring.

According to the Complaint:

At least as early as September 16, 2010, De Sear downloaded and distributed videos and images of child pornography on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software—through which others had access to the material on a shared drive. The images downloaded by federal investigators from De Sear’s shared directories included pictures of prepubescent children being restrained and sexually abused.

De Sear turned a laptop computer over to law enforcement officers who executed a search warrant today at his home.

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

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI Newark Division’s Cyber Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to the arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirley U. Emehelu of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: John Vazquez, Esq.; Michael Critchley Jr., Esq., Roseland, N.J.