Prosecutor: Jersey City sex offender caught sending child sex abuse material on Instagram

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A Jersey City sex offender was caught sending approximately 100 images of child sex abuse material via direct message on Instagram, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Thomas Gaughran. Photo courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On Friday, July 16th, at approximately 9:35 a.m., members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Thomas Gaughran, 48, of Jersey City, on charges involving the possession and distribution of child sex abuse material, Suarez said in a statement.

Gaughran was arrested without incident on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City. On March 11th, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reporting suspected child sex abuse material being distributed through the internet.

Following an investigation, it was determined that Gaughran, a registered sex offender, had
distributed approximately 100 images of child sex abuse material through Instagram Direct
Messenger.

Gaughran has been charged with endangering the welfare of children by distributing child sex abuse material and endangering the welfare of children by possessing child sex abuse material.

Following his arrest, Gaughran was transported to Hoboken Medical Center after he requested medical attention. After being medically cleared for incarceration, he was transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny pending his first appearance.

The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion for pretrial detention of the defendant. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21st.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with the investigation and arrest and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit with assisting in the investigation.

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