A Berkeley Township man who served as a Deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark has been arrested for allegedly possessing child porn.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced the arrest Thursday of Anthony Laterza, 70, who is charged with three counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

On Thursday Billhimer said that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, United States Homeland Security Investigations and Berkeley Township Police Department, executed a search warrant at Laterza’s residence.

Investigators then found electronic devices and conducted a forensic review of those devices revealing apparent images of child pornography.

Laterza was arrested and processed at Berkeley Township Police Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

The investigation began following referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, through the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force which identified a suspect residing in Berkeley Township as downloading images of child pornography.

“It is our understanding that this defendant serves a Deacon at a church in Lakehurst, as such we have made appropriate notifications,” Prosecutor Billhimer said.

Rayanne Bennett who is a spokesperson for The Catholic Diocese of Trenton, which oversees churches in Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer and Burlington Counties, tells Townsquare Media News that Laterza is a Deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark.

He only served at St. Johns for 2 months in 2019 before his service ended.

"He has not functioned as a Deacon there at all in 2020 and he has no faculties to serve in the Diocese of Trenton at this time," Bennett said.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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