The defendant Eric Paulino was arrested today on a complaint charging him with possession of child pornography. Paulino made his initial appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in federal court in Brooklyn, and was released on a $250,000 bond.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, announced the arrest.
“Paulino, while employed in a position of trust as a New York City school teacher, purchased child pornography on the Internet, contributing to the abuse and victimization of children,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Prosecuting those who feed the market for child pornography, whether producers or consumers, will always be a priority of this Office and our law enforcement partners.”
“Teachers are trusted by parents to protect and educate their children, which makes the thought of a teacher allegedly downloading illegal child pornography all that more disturbing,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The FBI New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force works every day to stop predators from exploiting children, and further victimizing those exposed to hands on offenders who create images shared on the internet.”
According to the complaint and statements made in court, Paulino, a teacher at a Queens middle school, purchased child pornography using a mobile payment service. Today, during a court-authorized search of Paulino’s residence, the defendant admitted to downloading and trading child pornography on his mobile phone. Paulino provided FBI special agents with his iPhone and the password for the device. A search of Paulino’s phone revealed numerous images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Bagnuola is in charge of the prosecution.