Moshe Gerstein, One Of 26 Arrested For "Truly Sickening" Child Porn

by Mark Hamblett (New York Law Journal)
June 15, 2011

A Gibson Dunn & Crutcher associate accused of being part of a group that traded images of violent sexual assaults on children was arrested as part of a wide-ranging child pornography sweep yesterday by state and federal agencies.

Moshe Gerstein, 35, was among 26 people picked up in Manhattan who traded "truly sickening" images of child sexual assault, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said during an afternoon press conference.

There was no immediate comment from Gibson Dunn, where Mr. Gerstein works in the firm's corporate transactions practice, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and private equity deals.

Mr. Vance said the defendants stockpiled images of brutal rapes and sexual assaults of tens of thousands of children, from infants to teenagers, and swapped them like others "trade baseball cards."

Mr. Gerstein was arrested on May 10 after a search of his Manhattan home on West 60th Street pursuant to a warrant by investigators from the district attorney's office and federal Homeland Security agents. They seized three computers and an external hard drive containing some 5,000 images of child sexual assault.

Mr. Gerstein pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. The indictment included two counts of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, §263.15, a Class D felony, which carries a potential prison term of up to seven years, and five counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance of a Child, §263.16, a Class E felony that carries up to four years.

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 22.

Under the relevant New York laws, "sexual performance" refers to any visual representation that includes sexual conduct—actual or simulated—by a child under 17. "Promote" does not necessarily mean to publicize or advertise; it can also mean to circulate, provide or acquire....