Child Porn Case Postponed

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STATE—Arguments on a motion to dismiss the most severe charges against former Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen were postponed by the attorney representing the former lawmaker and rescheduled for Jan. 11 at 9 a.m. before Judge Gerald Council at the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton.

Cohen, who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1994 to 2008 and also from 1990-1991, faces child pornography charges related to material found in the office in Union Township he shared with state Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan.

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He was hospitalized and placed in psychiatric care on July 24, 2008, after investigators from the New Jersey Attorney General’s office removed a state-issued computer from his legislative office as part of an investigation into claims that the computer had been used to store child pornography.

Cohen is currently under indictment for official misconduct (2nd degree), reproduction of child pornography (2nd degree), distribution of child pornography (2nd degree), and two counts of possession of child pornography (4th degree).

He was charged with four counts on Dec. 17, 2008, but after investigators uncovered child pornography at his Montclair law office, the second count of possession of child pornography was added to his indictment on July 9.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine, while fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The official misconduct charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years without parole.


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