DUNELLEN — A former president of this borough's Board of Education was sentenced to four years of probation for having child pornography, despite prosecutors asking for a prison sentence of up to six months.

Phillip C. Heiney, 69, faced prison time under the terms of a plea agreement, but the judge opted for probation instead.

As part of his sentence Heiney will also have to undergo therapy, have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, and be monitored by an electronic device.

Heiney was arrested in August 2016 when authorities said he used a file-sharing program to access pictures and videos involving children being raped and sexually abused. There were also images of a girl involved in bestiality, police said. Then-Attorney General Christopher Porrino said at the time that "anyone who should commit such crimes belongs in prison, not in our schools."

Current Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said on Friday that "anyone who contributes to the brutal sexual exploitation of children by collecting child pornography has no business overseeing the education of young students."

"Thankfully, through our proactive investigative efforts, he was caught and brought to justice."

In a news release announcing the sentence, Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice described Heiney as "living a double life, hiding his deviant criminal conduct behind a respectable front."

"These offenders come from all walks of life and often are exposed only when they are caught in the dragnet of our online investigation."

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