FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey man who owns an online broadcasting service allowed underage teen girls to receive money from viewers for engaging in sex acts and tried to entice viewers to sexually assault a woman and to broadcast it online, authorities said.
Robert Ianuale, 32, of Hazlet, owns and operates an online live broadcasting service known as SwerveCast, state prosecutors and the Homeland Security Department’s investigations division said.
An investigation revealed Ianuale would allow two 14-year-olds, one from New Jersey and another from Maryland, to engage in sexual acts during broadcasts available only to users who paid to watch them online. Viewers could “tip” the girls using virtual currency that Ianuale controlled, and he would pay a percentage of the tipped amount to the girls in exchange for performing sex acts online, prosecutors said.
On one occasion, authorities said Ianuale also offered viewers $100 to sexually assault a 25-year-old New York City woman outside her place of employment and broadcast the event.
“Profiting off of the sexual abuse of juveniles is intolerable. We cannot allow innocent children to fall prey to online abusers and predators seeking to line their pockets through the sexual exploitation of their victims. We will prosecute all such defendants to the fullest extent of the law,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.
Ianuale was arrested on Monday and charged with child endangerment by causing or permitting a child to engage in child pornography; promoting prostitution of a minor; use of a juvenile to commit a crime; distribution of child pornography; possession of child pornography; financial facilitation of a criminal activity; and luring or enticing an adult.
He is held on $450,000 bail in the Monmouth County Jail and is awaiting a hearing. It is not known if he has a lawyer who can comment.
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