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Ex-N.J. statesman sentenced for child porn

Nov. 4, 2010 at 1:21 PM

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- An ex-New Jersey assemblyman was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for watching and printing child pornography in both his legislative and law offices.

In April, former Assemblyman Neil Cohen pleaded guilty in Trenton to a second-degree charge of child endangerment, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Officials found 34 pornographic pictures of children on computers in both of Cohen's offices, Deputy Attorney General Anthony Picione said.

Cohen's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, said his client has been committed at a psychiatric hospital, has tried to commit suicide and needs continued mental health treatment.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Gerald Council said he would not undermine a plea agreement that would allow Cohen to apply for the state's Intensive Supervision Program.

Cohen would also be required to register under Megan's Law, which requires law enforcement officials to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders, to pay about $2,000 in fines and be barred from social networking Web sites and from public office.

"It's a sad day. The fact of the matter is Mr. Cohen led a solid life of public service before this unfortunate incident," Council said.

"By viewing and distributing child pornography, Mr. Cohen made himself a part of the network of suppliers and users whose actions serve to promote this abhorrent exploitation of children. Prison is the appropriate sentence for his crime," Attorney General Paula Dow said.

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Topics: Neil Cohen
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