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Federal judge makes example of man who downloaded 21,000 child porn images

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A federal judge sent a crystal-clear message when she sentenced a Clifton man to 90 months in prison, with additional restrictions after his release, for downloading thousands of kiddie porn files from two community college library computers.


Calling himself an addict, 36-year-old Jorge L. Salas admitted that he downloaded 215 videos and 5,000 images onto flash drives from two library computers at Passaic County Community College. Some of the children involved were under 12 years old, part of a collection of what federal authorities said was more than 21,000 illegal files.

“The striking thing is that [he] was doing this in a public library,” U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton said in Newark, while putting Salas behind bars for at least seven years. Once he is freed, Wigenton ruled, Salas must register as a sex offender, have all of his computer use monitored and not have any contact with minors.

Summoned by a security guard, investigators arrested Salas when he returned to the library, ostensibly to collect more on Nov. 12, 2008. He was carrying three flash drives with him, they said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lakshmi S. Herman said Salas had been collecting the images for at least five years and began going to the library after his computer at home crashed. Both Herman and the judge noted that the children in those images are sexual abuse victims, who Wigenton said “are being harmed every day.”

Salas, who already has spent a year and a half in custody, won’t taste freedom at least until 2018. Unlike the operations of the state justice system, federal sentences are served out — with convicts getting no more than a few months shaved off near the end.

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