A New Jersey man was arrested after more than 10,000 photos depicting child sex abuse were discovered on his computer, authorities said Monday.
Joseph Poutre, 55, of Middletown, was charged with a single count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said.
Ruotolo's office began investigating following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Spearheaded by Det. Craig Famoso, the investigation led to an IP address being used by Poutre, who at the time lived on the 2000 block of Princeton Avenue in Fanwood, according to Special Prosecutions Unit Supervisor and Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is prosecuting the case.
During the execution of a court-authorized forensic examination of Poutre’s computer, Det. Keith Johnson of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Cyber Crime Task Force used specialized software to locate and retrieve the digital images, which had been deleted, Spagnoli said.
Poutre surrendered and was formally charged last week, after which he was ordered to appear in Union County Superior Court, with a first appearance scheduled for Wednesday, April 7.
Poutre's LinkedIn page says he works as a software engineer with experience in the banking industry.
The Prosecutor’s Office urges any Union County citizens who suspect incidents of possession or distribution of child sexual abuse material, or similar crimes, to report them to their local police department.
Additionally, any suspected child sexual exploitation, online or otherwise, can also be reported via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline (via www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678).
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