News Department

Sussex County man charged with distribution of child pornography

FRANKLIN BOROUGH, NJ (Sussex County) – A Sussex County man was arrested and charged with distributing videos and images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Friday.

Gaetano Lapegna, 64, of Franklin Borough is charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and appeared on March 30 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court and was then released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from December 2022 to March 2023, Lapegna distributed videos and images 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 his address.

Subsequent to a lawful search of his residence on March 30, law enforcement officers recovered at least two videos and 100 images depicting child sexual abuse on Lapegna’s thumb drive. Law enforcement also found that Lapegna’s computer was running the same version of the P2P program from which law enforcement downloaded child pornography from Lapegna.

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.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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