A former EHT High School teacher’s aide and dive coach has pleaded guilty in connection to the distribution of child abuse and sexual exploitation images.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner says 30-year-old Mark Balesteri, Jr., pleaded guilty to second degree Endangering for Distributing Sexual Exploitative Child Images last month. Balesteri admitted during his plea to using his cell phone and Snapchat to send images and/or videos of children under the age of 18 for sexual exploitation, more specifically images of young girls to other users.

In exchange for the second degree charges, Balesteri, Jr., received five years in state prison and he is also subject to Megan’s Law.

Authorities say in February, 2019, Balesteri, Jr., was arrested following a long investigation into his online activity. He was charged with Endangering the Welfare of Children – Distribution of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images (Second Degree), Endangering the Welfare of Children – Possession of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images with the Intent to Distribute (Second Degree), and Endangering the Welfare of Children – Possession of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images (Second Degree).

This investigation was initiated based upon information received by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (ICAC). The Task Force is coordinated on the national level by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and on the State level by the New Jersey State Police.

His sentencing is scheduled for April 3rd.

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