Former Partner In International Law Firm Indicted On Multiple Child Pornography Counts

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NEWARK—A Bergen County man who allegedly advertised, distributed, and collected images and videos of adults sexually exploiting infants and toddlers was indicted on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The eight-count indictment unsealed Thursday morning charges Edward M. De Sear, 65, of Saddle River, with three counts of advertising child pornography, four counts of distributing child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.

De Sear—who at the time of his original arrest on a federal complaint was a partner at the New York office of an international law firm—had been released on bail following his arrest on a complaint charging him with one count of distribution. He was taken into custody again Thursday in light of the nature of the additional charges.

According to the newly-unsealed indictment and other documents filed in this case:

De Sear allegedly used an internet-based peer-to-peer file sharing program to advertise, distribute, and download hundreds of images of child pornography. De Sear allegedly named one of his file sharing folders “BoysCute” and made files with graphic, descriptive names available for sharing in his folders. He also allegedly allowed his “friends” to preview the content of his shared files in thumbnail view to select which files to download and allegedly used the peer-to-peer program’s chat function to make specific offers to distribute and display child pornography with descriptive titles.

The chat messages allegedly sent by De Sear to an individual with the username “boycuddle2” included the observation: “best are guys who have kids of their own to share…there is a network of those guys,” but it is “hard to get into that club without a kid[.]”

In 2010, De Sear regularly logged onto the file sharing program using his then-employer’s wireless “guest” network. During one of these sessions, De Sear allegedly distributed multiple child pornography files to an undercover law enforcement agent by having placed the files in his file sharing folders on the peer-to-peer network.

De Sear faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison for each of the three advertising of child pornography charges. In addition, De Sear faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the four distribution of child pornography charges. De Sear faces up to 10 years in prison for the possession count. Each charge also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.

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.

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

 


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