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Hightstown Man Admits Child Pornography Production

The Hightstown man facing a child pornography charge, whose disappearance triggered a five-month international search by law enforcement January, faces at least 15 years in prison, perhaps as much as 30, for admitting that he crafted the lurid images.

Fredy Arbito, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography today in a Trenton federal courtroom, according to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. His sentencing, scheduled for February 4, also holds open the possibility of fines as high as $250,000.

Arbito admitted coercing an 11-year-old girl to strip and perform sexually-explicit conduct in front of a webcam, with the aim of transmitting it live through the Internet. Prosecutors say it took place between July 11, 2011 and January 28, 2013.

Earlier information from investigators said that Arbito won the preteen’s confidence by masquerading as a 14-year-old Colombian girl, culled the images, and then threatened to saturate Facebook with them unless she continued the salacious behavior for him.

Arbito disappeared from New Jersey last January, sparking a manhunt that traced him to Panama, where he was extradited back to the U.S.

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