John B. “Jay” Mulligan, 42, pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession of child pornography, Hoffman said.
As a result of the plea agreement, the state will recommend a sentence of three years in state prison for Mulligan, who must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Mulligan admitted to using file-sharing software to make images of child pornography available to any other user who wished to download the images. He shared the images between Jan. 12, 2012 and April 13, 2012, when State Police executed a search warrant and discovered more than a dozen images depicting child pornography on Mulligan’s home computer, including video clips, Hoffman said.
Sentencing is set for Nov. 22.
“Each time we send another offender to prison for viewing and sharing child pornography online, we hammer home the critical point that this is a very serious crime,” Hoffman said in a prepared statement. “We’re working hard to banish the misguided and offensive notion that what these offenders do in the privacy of their homes is a victimless crime. In reality, what they do creates the demand that directly drives the sexual abuse of children.”
“Users of child pornography may think they can hide in the shadows, but we have the technology to detect their criminal activities online and follow their digital tracks right to their computers,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said. “We want them to know that we will use that technology to prosecute them and put them behind bars.”
The operation in which Mulligan was apprehended, coined “Operation Watchdog,” targeted those who knowingly distributed child pornography on the Internet. It was a three-month operation staged in 2012 that resulted in the capture of 26 men and one woman, Hoffman said.