\"\"

Paul Benson

Mayo man arrested in child porn investigation

\"\"

Paul Benson

A County Mayo man living in New Jersey was arrested last October on child pornography charges and will face a grand jury in the next few months.

Paul Benson, owner of a North Jersey Irish construction company, Alpine Group, located in Elmwood Park, was arrested in an early morning raid by detectives in Bergen County on October 15, 2009 at his million dollar home.

Benson, 42 and married with children, was arrested as a result of an in-depth investigation into online child pornography users and distributors conducted by members of the Suffolk County Police Department on Long Island, who liaised with the Bergen County prosecutor’s office computer crimes task force unit on the case.

Detectives working on the case told the Irish Voice that Benson had more than 20,000 pornographic images and videos of children under the age of 18-months on his home computer.

One detective who worked on trying to bring in Benson for a long time described the images as “nasty, nasty stuff.”

The Irishman was initially discovered to be trafficking and possessing child pornography by undercover detectives trawling online sites seeking men and women “interested” in child pornography.

The pornography that Benson possessed and distributed contained images and videos of toddlers, some engaging in sexual acts.

 "In this case, the child pornography contained images and/or videos of pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts," said Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli after Benson’s arrest last October.

Benson, who lives in a large home in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a minor, specifically by transmitting depictions of child pornography, and one count of endangering the welfare of a minor, specifically by possessing or viewing depictions of child pornography.

Benson, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in October, could face up to 10 years in state prison if found guilty for distributing child pornography, classed as a second-degree crime. He faces up to 18 months behind bars for possessing or viewing child pornography, a fourth-degree crime.

Judge Donald Venezia granted Benson bail at $100,000 and he was released from custody after spending a night in the Bergen County Jail. He is set to appear at the Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey in the coming months.

A spokesperson for the Bergen County’s District Attorney’s office told the Irish Voice, “This is a case where the information on the computer systems that were confiscated need to be analyzed, which takes a while.”

The case will be ready to be presented to the grand jury in the next 30 to 60 days when the analysis is complete. 

Benson was born in England and grew up in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo. He attended St. Louis Secondary School in the town before emigrating to the U.S.

Benson eventually opened up his own construction firm, Alpine Group, which specializes in hardwood flooring. The company is 15 years old.

An online business report shows Alpine’s annual revenue is between $2.5 to $5 million. It also states that the company employs a staff of approximately 20 to 49.

It is unclear if Benson’s company in New Jersey is still functioning. Numerous calls to his office went straight through to an answering machine. A message left for Benson from the Irish Voice was not returned.

The Alpine Group’s website states that the company “believes that truth sets us free.”

It reads, “Every Alpine Group team member is trained in the concept that honesty is expected and rewarded, always. In our dealings with our clients, insurance companies and employees we are 100% honest 100% of the time.”

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: