Being a lawyer does not necessarily protect you from criminal activities, especially in the wake of the state’s renewed focus on child exploitation and child pornography trafficking. A New Jersey attorney was recently arrested for charges of trafficking in child pornography, highlighting the need for everyone—including legal professionals—who may be involved in a sex scandal investigation to understand the laws regarding exploitation, abuse, and domestic violence in the state.
Michael Jimenez, a 43-year-old attorney, has been charged with sending and receiving pornographic images of minors through various anonymous Twitter accounts. Jimenez is employed at a law office in Millburn, and although the police traced the IP address where the accounts were created to this firm, the firm has not been accused of any illegal activity.
Jimenez was arrested on October 20th, 2016, after the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice obtained search warrants for his house and his office. According to the criminal charges, the search uncovered over 100 electronic files containing images of child pornography. The authorities leading the investigation said that Jimenez used a total of three Twitter accounts to obtain and distribute the images—starting a new account each time Twitter shut one down. He had around 800 followers on the social media platform.
Local law enforcement agencies launched an investigation into the attorney after receiving tips about the accounts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Jimenez is now facing charges of second-degree distribution and third-degree possession of pornographic materials. If charged, he could be sentenced to prison for up to ten years, and could be fined up to $150,000. In the wake of Jimenez’s arrest, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino has asked his office to “place an emphasis on….these kinds of cases.”
Sometimes Even a Lawyer Needs a Lawyer
Cases involving violence against, or exploitation of, a minor are often initiated in the public eye before they even reach the courts. When the accused defendant is a person who holds a position of authority and respect in the community, the public opinion and media coverage can quickly turn an investigation on its head, even if the defendant has not yet had a chance to defend himself.
If you’re an attorney practicing in New Jersey, and you are under investigation for any criminal acts, including those related to child pornography, exploitation of a minor, abuse, or domestic violence, it’s best to seek out another attorney who can represent you in court. It’s possible that another attorney will be able to see your case from another angle, and he will definitely be able to keep an objective presentation when it comes time for your trial.
For more information, or to discuss your case, call Scott Gorman at The Gorman Law Firm today. Scott is an experienced Morristown domestic violence lawyer, and he will help you defend yourself against charges of this nature.
Published in Categories: Domestic Violence