Rutgers Instructor Charged With Using University Computer To Share Child Pornography Over Internet

Gavin Swiatek (Photo courtesy of the NJ Attorney General's Office)

Gavin Swiatek (Photo courtesy of the NJ Attorney General's Office)

TRENTON – A Rutgers University instructor has been arrested on charges that he used a computer in his university office to share hundreds of videos of child pornography over the Internet, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced.

According to Taylor, Gavin Swiatek, 49, a biochemistry instructor on the Rutgers University Cook Campus in New Brunswick, was arrested late yesterday afternoon at his home in Hillsborough by members of the New Jersey State Police. He was charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession of child pornography.

Swiatek was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail with bail set at $50,000. He was charged as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) and the Division of Criminal Justice Computer Analysis & Technology Unit.

“Those who view and distribute child pornography contribute to the tragic exploitation of children, because they fuel the demand that drives suppliers to produce these abhorrent materials,” said Chiesa. “The charges against this individual are very serious.”

“We want to send a powerful deterrent message to anyone who would consider linking themselves into the vile network of suppliers and users of child pornography,” said Taylor. “They will find themselves behind bars like this man. We will continue to partner with the New Jersey State Police to aggressively investigate and prosecute these cases.”

“Our detectives proactively hunt for people trading images of child porn. Some would believe that what they view in private will never become public, but when it comes to victimizing children, we will work to expose every illegal act,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

The New Jersey State Police DTIU determined that a computer user on the Rutgers University campus was using peer-to-peer file sharing technology to make child pornography readily available to Internet users worldwide. The State Police, who were assisted by the Rutgers University Police Department and Rutgers Office of Information Technology, traced the source of the child pornography to Swiatek’s office at Rutgers University.

Swiatek allegedly shared hundreds of files containing child pornography, mostly videos, using the peer-to-peer technology. State Police detectives seized Swiatek’s university computer from his office. Investigators also executed a search warrant and seized a laptop computer and digital media from Swiatek and from his home.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.

The charges in the complaint against Swiatek are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.

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