SOMERVILLE, NJ –What police describe as sexually-explicit communications on a website between an 8-year-old Franklin Township girl and a Bronx man has led to several pornography charges being filed against the suspect, 31-year-old Efrain A. Martinez of Sampson Avenue in The Bronx.

Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson provided the following details:

Franklin Township Police learned on Jan. 21  that the 8-year-old child was engaging in sexually explicit communications on a website with the suspect. Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit followed up, and according to Robertson, their investigation revealed that Martinez had directed the child to photograph herself while naked and to transmit the digital images through an instant messaging application.

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Detectives from the New York City Police Department and the Bronx District Computer Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Martinez’s residence Feb. 10; Somerset County and Franklin Township detectives assisted. 

Martinez’s smartphone was seized and he was arrested without incident. The suspect has been charged with 1st Degree, manufacturing child pornography, 3rd Degree possession of child pornography and 3rd Degree, endangering the welfare of a child. Somerset County authorities will seek to extradite defendant Martinez back to New Jersey.

Robertson urges parents to be vigilant and to be aware of the smartphone apps and online sites that their child uses or frequents, and get to know the individuals and friends with whom they are communicating.

" If your child wants to share digital photos with their friends or classmates via email or a social networking site be sure to know exactly where the images are being stored and who will be receiving the images," Robertson said.