Former Long-Serving Board of Education Member in New Jersey Sentenced on Charge of Child Pornography - NBC New York

Former Long-Serving Board of Education Member in New Jersey Sentenced on Charge of Child Pornography

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    • A former president of a Board of Ed in NJ was sentenced Friday for having numerous files of child pornography on his personal computers

    • Phillip C. Heiney, 69, of Dunellen, was sentenced to four years of probation

    • Heiney pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to third-degree possession of child pornography.

    The former president of a New Jersey board of education was sentenced Friday for having numerous files of child pornography on his personal computers.

    Attorney General Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that Phillip Heiney, of Dunellen, was sentenced to four years of probation.

    Heiney, who served on the Dunellen Board of Education for 37 years, pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to third-degree possession of child pornography.

    Prosecutors recommended a jail term of up to six months under the plea agreement, but he was given a sentence of non-custodial probation with  required therapy, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18, and submission to monitoring of his electronic devices by probation officers.

    Heiney, 69, was arrested on Aug. 23, 2016, when detectives and agents from the Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant and allegedly discovered various images and videos of child pornography on his computer equipment at his home.

    Authorities say that a detective in the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit was monitoring a file-sharing network popular with offenders who trade child pornography. The detective allegedly identified a computer address that was offering multiple files of child pornography for any user to download from a shared folder. According to authorities, the detective downloaded two videos from the shared folder in which adult males engaged in sexual acts with prepubescent girls. The IP address sharing the child pornography was allegedly traced to Heiney’s residence.

    “Like so many of these offenders, Heiney was living a double life, hiding his deviant criminal conduct behind a respectable front,” said Veronica Allende, director of the Division of Criminal Justice.

    William Ware, Heiney's attorney, said that Heiney "was a good man who dedicated over thirty years of his life serving on a school board.

    According to Ware, Heiney "stumbled upon an inappropriate web site and he just could not believe such content was out there on the internet. He was mortified yet luridly curious. That led him to make several more poor choices to view this inappropriate content."

    Ware said that Heiney immediately started participating in counseling and did all that was asked of him following his arrest, adding that Heiney "is deeply embarrased and remorseful."

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