There might have been nothing to attract particular attention to the case of a New Jersey man sentenced on charges of viewing child pornography. However, in this particular case, the accused was a former New Jersey lawmaker who has spent much of his political career championing laws against child pornography. Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen has been sentenced to five years in prison on charges of viewing nude images of underage girls.
Cohen's political career spanned 17 years as a Democrat in the state legislature representing Union County. In July 2008, he was arrested after nude images of underage girls were found on his computers in both his legislative office and law office. According to the New Jersey Attorney General's office, Cohen admitted to having printed some copies of these images and placing these in the desk of a female receptionist at his legislative office. Some of the images on his computer have been matched to images on the list of Missing and Exploited Children.
Cohen resigned soon after. The New Jersey Corrections Department will decide within the next few days whether he will serve his term in a mental hospital or in prison.
Cohen might be an ex-New Jersey assemblyman, but as a convicted sex offender, he will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. He will also be barred from holding public office and from using social networking websites like Facebook. Cohen, who also happens to be a lawyer, is also likely to be disbarred.
When it comes to sex crimes and children, New Jersey laws can be extremely harsh. If you have been accused or charged with a sex crime involving a child, consult with a New Jersey sex crimes lawyer at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman.