Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

Rutgers Prof. Arrested for Child Porn Videos

Article Placeholder Image
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on January 13, 2012 3:06 AM

Gavin Swiatek, a biochemistry instructor at Rutgers University, has apparently been using his office hours to download hundreds of videos depicting child pornography.

Police carried out the Rutgers child porn raid on Tuesday, arresting Swiatek at his Hillsborough, N.J. home. They also seized his personal and university-issued computers.

Those computers were Swiatek's downfall -- police were able to track him down through the peer-to-peer file sharing network he used to download and trade the illegal content.

As the tech gurus at Lifehacker explain, it's not that difficult to find someone sharing files on a peer-to-peer network:

"...you're connecting to several peers who are distributing chunks of the file you're downloading. In order to send data back and forth, you and your peers exchange IP addresses...When you're downloading copyrighted material, sometimes disingenuous organizations will join in the download and log your information, like your home IP address."

Though "disingenuous organizations" probably refers to the MPAA and RIAA, the term can be replaced with "law enforcement." It's not uncommon for task forces targeting online child pornography to troll peer-to-peer networks for illegal content. When found, police join the download and log IP addresses.

If law enforcement has an IP address, it can subpoena the corresponding service provider for identifying information. Once had, it's not that difficult to determine who was downloading child pornography. It may also provide enough information for officers to obtain a warrant.

So you see, it's likely Gavin Swiatek made it easy for police to carry out the Rutgers child porn raid. In fact, once he was tracked to the university, school officials were probably quite willing to provide investigators with information.

Related Resources:

Find a Lawyer

More Options