Child-molesting firefighter gets 6 years in prison for plea deal
A Bordentown City firefighter and former Rider University security guard was sentenced to six years in prison for molesting boys at his home and keeping a collection of 1,000 images of child sexual abuse.
Alan J. Berman, 58, was arrested in September after a mother in Arkansas reported that a man had been trying to have inappropriate conversations online with her underage son. Investigators learned that Berman posed as an underage girl to get boys to send him nude images of themselves.
Investigators eventually found out that Berman also had lured young teen boys into his home and molested them. Berman knew the victims and their families.
In January, Berman pleaded guilty to second-degree child endangerment and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact.
“This sentence shields the victims from the additional trauma of having to testify and relive these events and, equally important, protects the public from any further wrongdoing by this defendant," Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said Friday after the sentencing.
Prosecutors said Berman threatened one of the boys by telling him that the authorities would believe Berman because of his position with the fire company.
“This defendant’s actions were particularly egregious because he pretended to care for the well-being of the boys he abused, when in reality, the only reason he had befriended them was to groom them into becoming victims,” Coffina said.
Berman will serve his sentence at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, which could keep him locked up after his sentence if the staff believe that he continues to be a risk. He also would be subject to parole supervision for life.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.