SOMERVILLE, N.J. - The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has charged a Bronx, New York man with manufacturing child pornography.

Today Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced the arrest of Efrain A. Martinez, age 31, of Sampson Avenue, Bronx, N.Y.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 21, 2017, Franklin Township Police received a report that an 8 year old child was engaging in sexually explicit communications via a website with Efrain A. Martinez.

Sign Up for E-News

As a result of the information an investigation was initiated by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit.  The investigation revealed that defendant Martinez had directed the child to photograph herself while naked and to transmit the digital images through an instant messaging application.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on February 10, 2017, at approximately 6:00 a.m., detectives from the New York City Police Department and the Bronx District Computer Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at defendant Martinez’s Sampson Avenue residence. Detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and  the Franklin Township Police Department were also present during the execution of the search warrant.

As a result of the search, defendant Martinez’s smartphone was seized and he was arrested without incident. Defendant Martinez was charged with first degree manufacturing child pornography, third degree possession of child pornography and third degree endangering the welfare of a child.  The first degree charge, if proven, carries with it a maximum of twenty years in state prison.

Somerset County authorities will seek to extradite defendant Martinez back to New Jersey.

In today's announcement, Prosecutor Robertson reminded parents to be aware of the smartphone apps and online sites that your child uses or frequents, and get to know the individuals and friends with whom they are communicating.  Robertson further advised that 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.

Editor's Note:  Charges are merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.