NEWARK — An Essex County corrections officer has been accused of keeping and sharing sexually explicit images of children.

Lt. Gerardo Gonzalez, 39, of Newark, was arrested and charged while working at the Essex County Correctional Facility on Tuesday, according to Essex County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Katherine Carter.

Gonzalez was charged with second-degree knowingly distributing an item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child and third-degree knowingly possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child — as well as second-degree child endangerment, according to court records.

He was identified by the prosecutor's office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, according to Carter, which investigates people who use computers to exploit or lure children.

Gonzalez was being held at Bergen County Jail, pending a detention hearing.

It remained undisclosed whether he had used personal or work-owned computers and devices.

RLS Metro Breaking News was first to report Gonzalez's arrest.

Payroll records show Gonzalez has worked for Essex County since 2007 and earns a salary of $116,976.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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