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Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

An FDNY firefighter was arrested on March 5 and charged with numerous felonies for child pornography that he viewed while inside of the fire house, according to court records.

The suspect was identified as Michael Chojnacki, 53, a resident of Nassau County, Long Island. He was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court the same day and charged with six counts of promoting the sexual performance of a child and six counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child, class D and E felonies respectively.

According to police, the arrest came as a result of a joint investigation by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the NYPD Computer Crimes Squad. The court documents show that Chojnacki’s alleged offenses took place on four specific dates in 2016 and 2017. All four incidents involved a cyber tip submitted by an online service where explicit images were uploaded.

The first cyber tip was received from the chatroom website Chatstep about an uploaded file depicting child sexual abuse on June 12, 2016, at approximately 11:46 p.m. According to the criminal complaint, an investigator determined it was an explicit image of a nude girl who was between the ages of 8 and 10.

A second cyber tip was received from the image sharing platform Imgur. The flagged image was uploaded on June 26, 2016, at approximately 3:53 p.m., and an investigator determined the image depicts a girl between the ages of 9 and 11 who is partially nude, court documents show.

The third cyber tip was submitted by Yahoo and said that a specific email account had uploaded three explicit images on Feb. 1 between approximately  2:42 a.m. and 2:47 a.m. Yahoo also provided a phone number and alternate Hotmail email address associated with that account, according to the court documents.

Investigators determined that two of those images depict partially nude girls, and one shows two girls having explicit sexual contact with an adult male. All of the girls in the photos are believed to be between ages 9 and 13, according to the criminal complaint.

The Yahoo tip then indicated that the same user uploaded another image on Feb. 16, 2017, at approximately 2:32 a.m. An investigator determined that the image showed a girl between the ages of 7 and 10 having sexual intercourse with an adult male, the court documents show.

After further investigation into the cyber tips, the two IP addresses associated with the explicit images both traced back to FDNY Engine 266 on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Chojnacki is shown to have been employed at Engine 266, and was working at the firehouse on all the dates and times listed, the documents show.

The documents also note that after being advised of his Miranda rights, Chojnacki admitted that the email addresses in question are his, that he brings his laptop to work, connects to the internet and uses his laptop in the common areas of the firehouse.

A spokesperson from FDNY said that Chojnacki has been suspended for 30 days without pay, the maximum penalty for the department while the investigation is ongoing.

Chojnacki was released on recognizance at his arraignment and is due back in court on April 13.

 

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