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Bergen law partner charged with trafficking in child porn

Photo Credit: Allen & Overy LLP

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Saddle River law partner with an illustrious academic and philanthropic history — including raising money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York — was arrested by FBI agents today and charged with distributing child pornography.

Edward M. De Sear (PHOTO: Allen & Overy LLP)

Edward M. De Sear, 64, was released by U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo on a $250,000 bond with electronic monitoring.

The images collected by the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force in Newark from peer-to-peer directories De Sear’s shared through his laptop include videos and photos of prepubescent boys and girls being restrained and sodomized, an FBI charging document states.

As investigators were seizing his laptop and arresting him, De Sear “admitted, in substance and in part,that (1) he downloads and shares child pornography using his laptop; (2) he uses the P2P network to download and share child pornography; (3) he is the only person in his home who uses the P2P network; and (4) he receives sexual gratification from viewing child pornography,” FBI Special Agent Joshua Wilson wrote, in a complaint submitted to the court.

De Sear, a Columbia University grad who is a partner in the international law firm Allen & Overy LLP on Sixth Avenue, got his law degree from the University of Virginia and was admitted to the bar in 1974, records show.

A former Salomon Brothers vice president, De Sear served as a personnel records specialist at the U.S. Army training center in Fort Benning, Georgia, from August 1968 to July 1970.

He’s been published in several prestigious law journals, is on the Board of Governors of the Columbia Club of New York and has served on the Board of Directors of inMotion Inc., a nonprofit organization providing legal services to indigent women in the New York City area.

In 2009, he was a visiting professor at a university in Samara, Russia, teaching structured finance. Last winter, De Sear was a visiting professor in the law faculty at Kazan State University, the alma mater of Tolstoy and Lenin, among others, in the Volga Region. Records show he taught structured and Islamic finance there.

He is married with two adult children.

The case against De Sear is being prosecuted by AUSA Shirley U. Emehelu of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman’s General Crimes Unit in Newark.

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