Babysitter Charged with Sexually Abusing 5-Year-Old, Streaming Via Web: Feds

The alleged abuse was recorded with an iPhone and streamed via Skype.

Friday, Jan 20, 2012  |  Updated 10:10 AM EDT
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A New Jersey babysitter allegedly sexually molested a 5-year-old girl, recorded it with her iPhone and streamed live video of the crime via Skype, federal prosecutors charged Thursday.

Jennifer Mahoney, 32, of Manalapan, faces two counts of sexual exploitation of a child for at least two instances of abuse in October and November, according to a federal complaint.

During one assault, in which the girl was abused in a bathtub, Mahoney told her she needed to be rinsed "like a mermaid," according to documents filed by prosecutors.

Mahoney created three pornographic videos using a video chat session with a man in Texas, prosecutors said. She is partially naked in the videos, and in one clip she touches herself while sexually abusing the sleeping child, they said. In another clip, they said, she tells the girl to bend over so she can rinse her off.

"Like a mermaid?" the girl says, according to court documents.

"Like a mermaid, sweetheart," Mahoney replies, according to an FBI agent.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said Mahoney "sexually assaulted a child, cavalierly recording and sharing the girl's humiliation over video chat."

"We cannot forget that for every image or video of what we call 'child pornography,' a child will carry the lifelong scars of rape and abuse recorded for others' gratification," said Fishman. "Whether making, distributing or viewing child pornography, the depraved appetites of offenders create a market for the destruction of a child's innocence."

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, of the U.S. Department of Justice's criminal division, called the charges against Mahoney "shocking in their depravity."

Mahoney, 32, has been in custody since Dec. 14, the day after the videos were found on the computer of a Texas man to whom she streamed them, prosecutors said.

She is due in federal court Jan. 30, when she plans to plead not guilty, defense attorney Herb Ellis said.

"We are reviewing the evidence, and we are going to do whatever we can to protect her rights," he said.

Mahoney, who's from Manalapan, 35 miles southwest of New York City, pleaded not guilty to similar state charges last week stemming from the same case, her lawyer said.

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