Mark Balesteri Jr., a teacher’s aide and diving coach at Egg Harbor Township High School in New Jersey, has been accused of using Snapchat to share images of child abuse and sexual exploitation, according to Atlantic County prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.
Balesteri was arrested on February 14th after an investigation of his online activity that lasted several months, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“Sadly, the transmission of child pornography is a pervasive problem throughout our community that does not always receive enough attention. Child predators lurk behind their computer screens and exploit defenseless children with the stroke of a keyboard. These predators occupy many positions of trust from teachers and coaches to many other professions. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office remains vigilant in rooting them out,” said Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.
Balesteri was levied with 3 charges.
- 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i) – Endangering the Welfare of Children – Distribution of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images (Second Degree)
- 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(ii) – Endangering the Welfare of Children – Possession of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images with the Intent to Distribute (Second Degree)
- 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii) – Endangering the Welfare of Children – Possession of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Images (Second Degree)
The release by the prosecutor’s office identifies Balesteri as a swimming coach at the school, though his primary function was as a diving coach – he was an NCAA D3 National Qualifier in diving while at Rowan University. He was a graduate of Egg Harbor Township High School, where he was coaching at the time of the arrest.