MAYS LANDING — A teacher’s aide and diving coach at Egg Harbor Township High School charged with using Snapchat to share images of child pornography was released from jail Monday.

Mark Balesteri Jr., 29, of Egg Harbor Township, was released with conditions after a detention hearing in Atlantic County Superior Court, court records show.

Balesteri was arrested Feb. 14 and charged with distribution of child-abuse and sexual exploitation images, possession of child-abuse and sexual exploitation images with intent to distribute and possession of child-abuse and sexual exploitation images.

His attorney, Steve Scheffler, declined to comment, citing a gag order Judge Patricia Wild put in place, prohibiting anyone involved from talking about the case.

After he was arrested, Balesteri acknowledged to police that the images included “girls in swimsuits as well as naked images,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

“He reported to have a ‘fetish’ for young girls, stating his preference to be 13 to 14, and referred to himself as a ‘pervert’ and a ‘pedophile,’” according to the document.

Balesteri is not the only school employee in Atlantic County facing child porn charges. Pleasantville High School Principal Edward James Bonek was arrested and charged in August with possession of child pornography authorities say he downloaded and shared online. Bonek, 49, of Absecon, was indicted in October and has since pleaded not guilty.

Balesteri is scheduled to appear at a pre-indictment conference at 1:30 p.m. April 18.

Staff Writer Colt Shaw contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7241 Mbilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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