Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On Friday, July 16, 2021, at approximately 9:35 a.m., members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Thomas Gaughran, age 48, of Jersey City, on charges involving the possession and distribution of Child Sex Abuse Material. Gaughran was arrested without incident on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City.
On March 11, 2021, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reporting suspected child sex abuse material being distributed through the internet.
Following an investigation, it was determined that Gaughran, a registered sex offender, had distributed approximately 100 images of child sex abuse material through Instagram Direct Messenger.
Gaughran has been charged with Endangering the Welfare of Children by Distributing Child Sex Abuse Material in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), a second-degree crime; and Endangering the Welfare of Children by Possessing Child Sex Abuse Material in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii), a third-degree crime.
Following his arrest, Gaughran was transported to Hoboken Medical Center after he requested medical attention. After being medically cleared for incarceration, he was transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny pending his first appearance.
The Prosecutor’s Office has filed a motion for pretrial detention of the defendant. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with the investigation and arrest and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit with assisting in the investigation.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).
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