A former Vineland elementary school teacher is headed to prison after being sentenced on charges he hid cameras in the boys bathroom at a summer theater camp.

According to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, "Thomas Guzzi Jr., 40, of Pitman,  was sentenced to 17 years in prison, including 10 years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson in Gloucester County.

He had pleaded guilty in the case back on July 16th, admitting to "manufacturing child pornography, and distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography."

According to Grewal, Guzzi must register as a sex offender, and will be subject to parole supervision for life. He is permanently barred from public employment.

Here's more from Grewal:

Guzzi formerly taught 5th grade at Winslow Elementary School and was an advisor and stage manager for youth productions at the school and the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. In pleading guilty, Guzzi admitted that he captured images and videos of teenage boys urinating in restrooms at the summer theater camp in Pitman. He admitted that he manufactured child pornography with the footage, creating a music video of one boy that had images and video of the boy urinating edited together with video recordings of him dancing in rehearsals for the summer musical production. In pleading guilty to official misconduct, Guzzi admitted that while teaching in a summer program at a second school in Vineland, he took a photo of a boy exposing his genitals.

Deputy Attorneys General Rachael Weeks, Derek Miller, and John Nicodemo prosecuted Guzzi for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau. Guzzi was arrested in 2016 in “Operation Safeguard,” a child pornography sweep conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the New Jersey State Police. Guzzi had hundreds of files of child pornography on computers seized from his home during execution of a search warrant on Feb. 19, 2016. He was terminated by the school district and his teaching license was revoked after his arrest.

“Guzzi used his positions as a teacher and a stage manager at a summer theater camp to violate the privacy and innocence of children entrusted to his care,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This lengthy prison sentence sends a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute predators like Guzzi who harm and sexually exploit children.”

“In this case, what started with the arrest of a child pornography offender in a multi-defendant sweep led to evidence of manufacturing of child pornography and criminal conduct against children this defendant supervised,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This case illustrates why, in all of our cyber investigations involving child pornography, we look at all of the evidence found on electronic devices and pursue every lead to uncover any criminal conduct and potential victims. This prison sentence is a testament to the thorough work of our multi-agency investigative team.”

 

More details of the investigation and the arrest can be found here.

One more note from Attorney General Grewal: "Anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007."

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