TRENTON – Special agents of the FBI arrested a Monmouth County man at his home this morning after discovering alleged images of child sexual abuse on his computer, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Layne Bracht, 31, of Highlands, is charged by complaint with one count of possessing child pornography. He made his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court and was remanded without bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Oct. 28, Bracht allegedly distributed on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software, through which other users had access, a video and images depicting child sexual abuse. Special agents of the FBI executed a search warrant this morning at his residence in Highlands, seizing digital evidence that contained numerous videos and images depicting child sexual abuse, including material involving prepubescent minors and sadistic or masochistic conduct. The digital evidence seized included three files previously downloaded from Bracht by law enforcement agents working in an undercover capacity on the peer-to-peer network.
In 2006, Bracht was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, a charge to which he subsequently pleaded guilty. On April 2, 2008, U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas sentenced Bracht to 30 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.
As a previously convicted sex offender, Bracht faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the possession offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher Grammicioni, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.