TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy announced that a former music teacher in the Elizabeth School District was sentenced to prison today for using a file-sharing network to share videos of child pornography over the Internet.
Ronald Scott, 63, of Edison, N.J., was sentenced to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Michael Toto in Middlesex County. Scott pleaded guilty on Dec. 14 to second-degree distribution of child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Deputy Attorney General Lilianne Daniel prosecuted Scott for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The charge was contained in a state grand jury indictment that was the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit and the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
“This teacher participated in the sexual exploitation of children by linking himself to the network of offenders who view and distribute child pornography,” said Acting Attorney General Lougy. “The classroom certainly is no place for anyone who derives pleasure from seeing a child harmed. In addition to sending Scott to prison, we have ensured that he will never teach again.”
“Working with the State Police and our other law enforcement partners, we will vigilantly patrol the Internet to catch those like Scott who trade these repulsive materials,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Viewing child pornography is not a victimless crime; in fact, the victims are re-victimized every time another offender watches them being sexually abused.”
“Ronald Scott betrayed the trust of his students, their parents, and his coworkers by sharing dozens of repugnant videos of child pornography on the Internet,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Today’s sentencing is the result of the outstanding work of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit and our partnering agencies, who at times are tasked with delving into the dark and disturbing world of the online file-sharing of child pornography.”
Scott was arrested on Jan. 24, 2014 by the New Jersey State Police and other members of the ICAC Task Force. A detective in the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit initiated an investigation into peer-to-peer file sharing on a file-sharing network popular with offenders who trade child pornography. The detective identified a computer address that was offering multiple files of child pornography for any user to download using file-sharing software, and the detective successfully downloaded three videos of child pornography, including videos of an adult male raping a prepubescent girl and an adult woman performing oral sex on a prepubescent boy.
The computer address was traced to Scott’s residence in Edison, where he was arrested. At the time of his arrest, DTIU detectives, assisted by the State Police TEAMS South Unit and other ICAC Task Force members, executed a search warrant at Scott’s home and seized two desktop computers, two external hard drives and multiple computer discs. The computer equipment was taken to the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in Hamilton for full forensic exams. Those exams revealed 64 videos of child pornography on the computers and hard drives.
After his arrest, Scott was immediately placed on unpaid leave by the Elizabeth School District.
Acting Attorney General Lougy commended Deputy Attorney General Daniel, the detectives who led the investigation for the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit and the other members of the State Police and the ICAC Task Force who assisted in the investigation and arrest.
Acting Attorney General Lougy and Director Honig urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.