AG: Lawyer arrested at Jersey City home for distributing child porn via Twitter

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A lawyer was arrested at his Jersey City home this morning on charges that he used anonymous Twitter accounts to distribute child porn, state Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced. Michael Jimenenz

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Michael Jimenez, 43, of Jersey City, was charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of more than 100 images of child pornography after authorities executed search warrants on his home and Millburn law office – seizing computers and other evidence.

The investigation began after the New Jersey State Police received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about three Twitter accounts that allegedly were used to upload and distribute images of child pornography.

The state’s investigation revealed that those Twitter accounts allegedly were created using an IP address linked to Jimenez at the law office in Millburn. The accounts were repeatedly accessed from the IP address at the law firm, as well as IP addresses associated with two recent residences of Jimenez in Jersey City, including his current residence, officials said.

It is also alleged that Jimenez created the three Twitter accounts in succession, opening a new account each time Twitter closed down an account. Twitter ultimately closed all three accounts because of the alleged distribution of illicit images.

According to authorities, Jimenez used the accounts to receive and distribute child pornography. Jimenez allegedly tweeted multiple images of child pornography, including images of prepubescent children engaging in sexual acts.

Court documents show say that Jimenez had more than 800 followers on Twitter who received the child pornography he distributed. He allegedly had his Twitter account set to only accept followers who also were actively posting similar images.

“By allegedly using his law firm as a base from which to distribute child pornography, Jimenez not only made a mockery of his oath to uphold the law, he involved himself in the tragic victimization of innocent children,” Porrino said in a statement.

“Jimenez’s idea of social networking allegedly was tweeting to child porn offenders like himself who, by their actions, promote and create a market for the sexual exploitation of children.”

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The third-degree charge of possession of 100 or more computer files of child pornography carries a presumption that the defendant will face a state prison term of between three to five years, even if the defendant has no prior criminal record.

Jimenez was charged as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU), the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and other members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.