Former Mt. Laurel, NJ, Police Officer Faces 87 New Charges in Nude Picture Hacking Case
A former Mount Laurel police officer who was charged in October for allegedly hacking into the social media accounts of a woman from Evesham and distributing her nude pictures has now been charged with victimizing 18 other women in a similar manner.
Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw's office says 22-year-old Ayron Taylor of Delran was taken into custody on Wednesday and released Friday afternoon following an appearance in Superior Court in Mount Holly.
The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
This past September, the initial victim contacted Evesham Township police to report that her Snapchat and Facebook accounts had been hacked by an unknown person who then sent nude photos she had taken of herself to her Snapchat contacts, messaged them to her Facebook friends, and posted them on her Facebook wall.
Taylor faces 87 new charges that accuse him of illegally accessing the social media and email accounts of 18 additional women and in several instances distributing their nude photos to people on their contact lists.
The complaints allege 28 counts of second-degree crimes that include computer criminal activity and distribution of child pornography, which was brought against him because some of the photos he accessed were taken before the victims became legal adults.
The remaining 59 counts are third-degree charges including elements of computer theft and other cyber-related crimes.
Authorities say the commonality among all victims was that each one had a student email account through Rowan College of Burlington County (RCBC).
The investigation further determined that Taylor illegally accessed more than 2,800 RCBC email accounts. Some of this activity occurred while he was on duty and sitting in his patrol car, utilizing personal electronic devices.
The college released the following statement from President Dr. Michael A. Cioce:
This is a repugnant cyber intrusion of privacy against the college and, especially, many of our students. Rowan College at Burlington County immediately strengthened network security upon the first report of the incident. Although there was no systemic failure of the college’s technology infrastructure, there is always opportunity for stronger security measures. The college’s Office of Student Support can provide assistance to victims who are impacted.
Officials say anyone with a Rowan College of Burlington County email account that suspects their private photos may have been shared or accessed without authorization should contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The investigation, which is ongoing, is being conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office High-tech Crimes Unit and the Evesham Township, Delran, and Riverside Police Departments.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.