Thomas Guzzi Jr.

GUZZI

Thomas Guzzi Jr., 38, of Pitman, was indicted on child pornography charges Fri., Jan. 12. He was a former fifth-grade teacher at John H. Winslow Elementary School in Vineland and manager at summer theater camp Broadway Theatre of Pitman.

NEW JERSEY OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL / PROVIDED

A former Vineland elementary school teacher has been indicted on child-pornography charges that include videotaping boys in a theater camp restroom.

Thomas Guzzi Jr., 38, of Pitman, a former fifth-grade teacher and drama club adviser at the John H. Winslow Elementary School in Vineland, was re-arrested and charged Friday with possession of more than 300 files of child porno-graphy and manufacturing child pornography by secretly filming boys in a restroom.

Guzzi was first arrested last February in Operation Safeguard, a joint federal and state child-pornography sweep by the state Attorney General’s Office, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey State Police. He was arrested along with 15 other people.

The former teacher was also an adviser and state manager for youth productions at the school and Broadway Theatre of Pitman.

He captured images and videos of teenage boys urinating in restrooms at the summer theater camp in Pitman in 2015, according to information released by the Attorney General’s Office on Friday.

Authorities said he stored images and videos of certain boys in separate computer folders and created photo montages of two underage boys.

He also allegedly created a music video of one of those two boys with images and video footage of the boy using the restroom edited together with footage of him dancing in rehearsals for the summer musical production.

Guzzi was fired from the Vineland school district and his teaching license was revoked after his February arrest.

A state grand jury indicted Guzzi on 10 counts, including second-degree manufacturing, distribution and storing and maintaining child pornography, and third-degree possession of child pornography and invasion of privacy.

Guzzi is being held in jail pending a detention hearing, authorities said, and will be arraigned in Gloucester County Superior Court at a later date.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine as much as $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a three- to five-year sentence in prison and a fine of as much as $15,000.

“Guzzi’s alleged heinous conduct highlights the alarming fact that child predators often seek positions in which they are entrusted with the supervision of children, only to betray that trust by sexually exploiting vulnerable young victims,” Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said in a statement.

Elie Honig, director of the state Division of Criminal Justice, said Guzzi’s actions raise concerns there may be other victims and an investigation is ongoing.

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Contact: 609-272-7022 NLeonard@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressNLeonard

Previously interned and reported for Boston.com, The Asbury Park Press, The Boston Globe

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