A Ridgewood middle school teacher was arrested for using a mobile app to pay for child porn, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Eric Paulino, 30, was charged with possession of child pornography. He was arraigned before the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Aug. 27 and released on a $250,000 bond.
“Paulino, while employed in a position of trust as a New York City school teacher, purchased child pornography on the Internet, contributing to the abuse and victimization of children,” stated United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “Prosecuting those who feed the market for child pornography, whether producers or consumers, will always be a priority of this office and our law enforcement partners.”
According to the complaint, Paulino, who sources say works at I.S. 93 in Ridgewood, allegedly used the mobile payment app Venmo to purchase child pornography. During a court-authorized search of Paulino’s Ridgewood home on Aug. 27, Paulino allegedly admitted to downloading and trading child pornography on his cellphone.
During the search, Paulino handed over his phone and password to the FBI, who allegedly found numerous images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
QNS has reached out to the Department of Education and is awaiting comment.
“Teachers are trusted by parents to protect and educate their children, which makes the thought of a teacher allegedly downloading illegal child pornography all that more disturbing,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney. “The FBI New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force works every day to stop predators from exploiting children, and further victimizing those exposed to hands on offenders who create images shared on the internet.”
Paulino is being prosecuted as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.