Dunellen school board leader faces child pornography charges
The President of the Dunellen Board of Education risks up to 10 years in prison if convicted of a child-pornography distribution charge filed by state investigators.
Phillip C. Heiney, 67, was arrested early Tuesday at his home, where investigators seized more than 100 hard drives, laptops and data storage devices, according to the office of New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino.
Heiney faces a second-degree distribution charge and a third-degree possession count. He was moved to the Middlesex County Jail, with bail set at a full $75,000 cash.
Authorities said the probe was organized by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. a New Jersey State Police detective, examining a peer-to-peer file sharing network, reportedly downloaded two salacious images from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Heiney's house.
The state Division of Criminal Justice was notified by the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in Nevada of a disturbing video involving an adult man, a bound and blindfolded underage girl, and a dog, downloaded from a shared folder at the same IP address, authorities said.
Investigators of the state and of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allegedly found numerous sordid images in a Tuesday-morning search.
The electronic equipment is undergoing analysis at the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Hamilton.
The case will will be presented to a grand jury to determine if the case will continue to trial.
Criminal charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and unitl, found guilty in a court of law.
Suspicions of web-based child porn distribution, or about inappropiate contact with children or possible sexual exploitation of children through the Internet, can be reported to the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, 888-648-6007.