Anti-Child Porn Crusader Sentenced For Child Porn

In a case of life imitating Law & Order: SVU, a former New Jersey assemblyman who fought for tougher legislation against child porn will now go to prison — for possessing child porn.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Neil Cohen advocated for a New Jersey law that created a 24-hour hotline for reporting computer crimes (including child porn), and another "that retroactively removed immunity from churches, schools and other charities that negligently hire employees who sexually abuse children." He also sponsored a bill "to provide greater protections to dogs accused of being vicious." However, his career came to an end when he "printed photographs of underage girls using his state computer and placed them in the desk of a female receptionist in his legislative office." Um, oops?

Cohen has been sentenced to five years in prison, but he could get out in three months under Jersey's Intensive Supervision Program, in which offenders are "under the close oversight of probation officers." He also will have to join the sex offender registry, will be banned from public office, and will probably be disbarred. Cohen's lawyer says he is clinically depressed, has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, and has attempted suicide. It's unclear whether the somewhat bizarre method of the crime's discovery was some sort of cry for help on Cohen's part, or whether his work on anti-child porn legislation was an attempt to atone for his predilections. Whatever the case, though, New Jersey DA Anthony Picione emphasize that Cohen's crimes had "real victims:" several of the images on his computer were of missing children, now possibly being trafficked by pornographers.

Ex-N.J. Assemblyman Neil Cohen Is Sentenced To 5 Years For Viewing Child Pornography [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
Convicted Ex-Assemblyman Neil Cohen Is Sentenced To 5 Years, May Seek Rehabilitation [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
Assemblyman Neil Cohen Under Child Porn Investigation [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
Ex-NJ Lawmaker Neil Cohen, Who Fought Child Porn, Sentenced To 5-Years For Child Porn Crimes
[NY Daily News]