HAZLET, N.J. - Parents have yet another example of why vigilance is the only option when it comes to awareness of children and technology. Down the street in Hazlet, two brothers have just been indicted for crimes involving children and cyberspace. According to the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office:
Robert J. “FistPump” Ianuale, the owner/operator of the online live broadcasting service known as SwerveCast, is named in a 12-count indictment charging him with engaging in the prostitution of juvenile females and an attempt to lure online viewers to sexually assault a woman and broadcast the assault live over the Internet, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Robert Ianuale, 33, and his brother Philip Ianuale, 32, both of Ned Drive in Hazlet, are named in the 12-count indictment.
Robert Ianuale is charged with one count of third degree Luring or Enticing an Adult; one count of fourth degree Cyber-harassment; two counts of first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child by causing or permitting a child to engage in child pornography; two counts of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child for Distribution of Child Pornography; third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child for Possession of Child Pornography; first degree Promoting Prostitution of a Minor; third degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity; first degree Use of a Juvenile to Commit a Crime.
If convicted of the first degree counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Ianuale faces up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be subject to the provisions of “Megan’s Law” and Parole Supervision for Life following his release from state prison.
If convicted of the other first degree crimes, Ianuale faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. If convicted of the second degree offense, Ianuale faces five to ten years in state prison and the third degree charges expose him to additional sentences of three to five years in prison on each count.
“Our children are at risk if we do not remain vigilant about their online activities. Predators are out there lurking in the cyber-shadows hoping to line their pockets through exploitation, or worse, feed off the vulnerabilities of our unsuspecting children. We will prosecute all such defendants to the fullest extent of the law,” Gramiccioni said.
Philip Ianuale is charged with fourth degree Obstructing the Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function and third degree Resisting Arrest. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Robert Ianuale was arrested following the culmination of an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Homeland Security Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSI). The investigation revealed Ianuale, using his online moniker “Fist Pump,” engaged in an online broadcast in May 2015, when he attempted to lure or entice individuals watching his broadcast to sexually assault a 25-year-old New York City woman outside her place of employment. Ianuale offered $100 to anyone who would sexually assault the woman and broadcast the event live.
During the investigation, a search warrant was executed at the Ianuale’s Hazlet home where Philip Ianuale obstructed justice and resisted arrest by attempting to prevent the officers from entering the residence.
The investigation also found Ianuale, as the owner/operator of SwerveCast, would allow juvenile females to engage in sexual acts during broadcasts available only to users who paid to view the online broadcasts. In turn, viewers could “tip” the girls using virtual currency that was under the control of Ianuale, and he would pay a percentage of the tipped amount to the juvenile girls in exchange for performing sex acts online.
The victims in this case are a 14-year-old Maryland girl and a 14-year-old Middlesex County, New Jersey, girl. Investigators believe there may be other victims and are asking anyone who witnessed similar behavior or knows of a juvenile who may have participated in similar broadcasts on SwerveCast to call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective John Sosdian at 732-431-7160 ext. 6592.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but has information about SwerveCast or Ianuale may contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers’ confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; or texting “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Margaret Koping.
Robert Ianuale is represented by John Fabriele, Esq. and Philip Ianuale is representing himself pro se.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.