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New Jersey Doctor Pleads Guilty to Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography

NEWARK, NJ—Rocco Martino, 43, of South Orange, N.J., admitted today to making available images and videos of pre-pubescent children being sexually abused—sometimes violently—to others over the Internet, U.S. Attorney Fishman announced.

Martino, a doctor who recently practiced internal and sports medicine in Berkeley Heights, N.J., entered his guilty plea to an information charging him with one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Williams H. Walls in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made during Martino’s guilty plea proceeding:

Martino admitted that between November and December 2010, he downloaded and posted videos and images of child pornography via peer-to-peer file-sharing software—through which others had access to the material on a shared drive. Martino admitted that his offerings included images of numerous children younger than 12 and depictions of sadistic and violent conduct. The images downloaded by federal investigators and found on Martino’s computer included pictures of very young children being restrained and sexually abused—including a bound and gagged toddler.

As part of his guilty plea, Martino agreed to forfeit the computer and computer accessories which he used to commit the offense. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

The receipt and distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for April 10, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI Newark Division’s Cyber Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; and the South Orange Police Department, under the direction of Chief James M. Chelel, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

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