‘Fist Pump’ arrested for child pornography, prostitution charges, NJ police say
Authorities say the owner of an online broadcasting service was engaged in the prostitution of juvenile girls and also tried to lure viewers to sexually assault a woman and then broadcast the act over the Internet.
Robert J. Ianuale, 32, of Hazlet, was arrested Monday at his home. Authorities say he is the owner/operator of SwerveCast, an online live broadcasting service. Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a press release that Ianuale's arrest came after an investigation carried out by the Prosecutor's Office as well as the Department of Homeland Security.
Police say that during a broadcast in May of last year, Ianuale, who uses the name "Fist Pump" online, "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 allegedly told his online audience that he would pay $100 to anyone who would sexually assault the woman during a live broadcast.
In addition, police say during his broadcast, Ianuale offered paid viewers a chance to witness two 14-year-old females - one from Maryland and another from Middlesex County - engaging in sexual acts. Authorities believe there may also be more victims that were involved in similar SwerveCast 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 Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
“Profiting off of the sexual abuse of juveniles is intolerable. We cannot allow innocent children to fall prey to online abusers and predators seeking to line their pockets through the sexual exploitation of their victims. We will prosecute all such defendants to the fullest extent of the law,” Gramiccioni said in a statement.
Investigators 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.
Police say anonymous tips and information about about SwerveCast can be sent to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers tip line, at 1-800-671-4400. Tipsters can also text "Monmouth" plus their tip to 274637 or send an email vis www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 "for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives."
The Prosecutor's Office said Ianuale two first degree child endangerment counts for permitting a child to engage in child pornography; one count first degree count of promoting prostitution of a minor; another first degree count for use of a juvenile to commit a crime; two counts second degree child endangerment counts for distribution of child pornography; one count of third degree child endangerment for possession of child pornography; one third degree "financial facilitation of criminal activity" and a third degree count of "luring or enticing an adult."
Ianuale could face up to 20 years in state prison of convicted of endangering the welfare of a child. In addition, he will be subject to Megan's Law provisions and will also be subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, which means he would have to serve 85 percent of his prison term before becoming eligible for parole. Also following his ultimate release, he could face parole supervision for life.
He is currently in Monmouth County Correctional Facility of $450,000 cash-only bail.
In a statement Monday, police said Ianuale's brother, Philip, 30, was arrested Monday by Halzet police and charged with obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.