(NEW YORK) -- More than two dozen people have been arrested in New Jersey following a sweeping three month investigation into the possession and distribution of child pornography.
Two dozen men and one juvenile face charges of downloading images of child pornography, including numerous child rape videos. Prosecutors said the files show pre-pubescent boys and girls being sexually molested or being coerced into performing sex acts on themselves or others.
“Anyone who views and distributes child pornography -- particularly the type of child rape videos targeted in this operation -- puts himself in league with the predators who sexually assault children to create these videos,” said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.
Five of those arrested had direct contact with young children, including two defendants who are alleged to be regular babysitters.
Prosecutors said the illegal videos and images were passed among users through email and file sharing networks. The defendants were rounded up in 25 different towns across the state. The Attorney General’s office said each defendant was found to be in possession of multiple sexually explicit videos of young children.
“Everyone sitting in the seclusion of their darkened homes viewing child rape videos has victimized these innocents by creating the market for this disgusting material,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio