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D.A.: 26 people busted swapped kiddy porn 'like baseball cards'

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An elementary school teacher, a kids’ shoe store employee and a dishwasher at a child-friendly restaurant were among the 26 people busted with tens of thousands of videos and photos of vile sex assaults of children as young as 1 year old, Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday.

The 26 people, who all live in Manhattan, had traded the gruesome images over an unnamed peer-to-peer network, often used to swap music files, “the way others trade baseball cards,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Tuesday.

“You would be shocked and disgusted and horrified by the images that they contain,” Cyrus said. “These images are not pornography … These are babies, these are toddlers and children being brutally raped, sexually assaulted and exploited by adults on camera.”

The accused pedophiles include high school and college students, National Guard members and a computer technician, and range in age from 18 to 63 years old.

Prosecutors’ accusations include:

- Architect Glen Barfield, 39, chatted online with a boy in Canada, sent him videos and convinced him to masturbate over a web cam, according to the indictment. His lawyer declined to comment.

- Miguel Caraballo, 29, a dishwasher at a kid-friendly restaurant, sorted the files he allegedly downloaded by the age of the children in them, the DA said. His lawyer did not return a call for comment last night.

- Corporate attorney Moshe Gerstein had three computers and an external hard drive taken from his home with approximately 5,000 pictures, prosecutors said. His lawyer did not return a call for comment last night.

Joshua Ruiz, 32, who worked as a substitute teacher in several public elementary schools, was arraigned yesterday and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors said Ruiz also sought advice in online chats on having sex with children.

In one chat with a man who said he abused his 3-month old daughter, Ruiz said, “I would love to be a part of it if you let me, at least just to watch,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Gretina said. In another chat, he offered horrific details of how he sexually abused his “little nephew.”

The Department of Education suspended Ruiz when he was arrested in May. His lawyer, Marc Laykind, said, “Sit tight before you judge my client.”

All 26 were charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child, and could serve up to seven years behind bars if convicted.
 

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