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Brooklyn Rabbi, Teacher Charged With Distributing Child Pornography

Handcuffs (credit: clipart.com)

Handcuffs (credit: clipart.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn rabbi and teacher at a girls’ seminary was arrested by federal agents Wednesday, on charges that he was downloading and distributing child pornography.

Samuel Waldman, 52, was arrested at his home Wednesday morning, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

His arrest followed U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation into Web users who were sharing child pornography over peer-to-peer file sharing networks, according to a criminal complaint.

Last Nov. 1, a law enforcement computer made a connection with a computer later allegedly discovered to be Waldman’s, and found an assortment of videos he was allegedly making available for download through a peer-to-peer network, the complaint said.

The law enforcement computer downloaded three files, which allegedly showed boys appearing to be as young as 10 years old and girls appearing to be as young as 4, the complaint said.

Agents traced the IP address of the computer to Waldman’s home, on Monday went to the home and spoke with Waldman’s wife, the complaint said. On Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant and arrested Waldman, the complaint said.

Prosecutors alleged that Waldman has been downloading child pornography for several years, and sharing it through peer-to-peer networks before deleting it to cover his tracks.

Prosecutors did not specify the seminary where Waldman taught. But Bharara expressed outrage given Waldman’s position.

“Samuel Waldman’s position of trust in the community, as both a rabbi and a teacher, makes his alleged distribution of child pornography all the more disturbing. As we have said repeatedly, we have zero tolerance for the exploitation of children and we will prosecute and punish those who engage in this conduct,” Bharara said in the release.

Waldman is charged with one count of transporting or distributing child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years, along with a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

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