Bonek arraignment

Edward James Bonek, 49, of Absecon, appears in court with attorney John Zarych before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Benjamin Podolnick to enter a plea of not guilty.

MAYS LANDING — The attorney for the Pleasantville High School principal charged with possessing child pornography on his work laptop will have a chance to review the computer data he believes will exonerate his client.

“We believe that the analysis will show that this child pornography, which was the source of the charges against my client, was not viewed by my client,” said John Zarych, defense attorney for Edward James Bonek, reached by phone Wednesday. “Our hope at that point is that the case will be dismissed.”

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, which brought the charges in the case, did not respond to requests for comment.

Bonek, 49, of Absecon, was arrested and charged in August with possession of child pornography authorities say he downloaded and shared online. Bonek was indicted in October and has since pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include possession of more than 1,000 images of child pornography, official misconduct and weapons offenses.

Zarych filed a motion with Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Benjamin Podolnick to receive the computer data to have his investigators analyze. On Jan. 14, Podolnick granted that motion with conditions to ensure the materials are not shared elsewhere.

With the recent development, a status conference scheduled for Wednesday was postponed until Feb. 27, Zarych said.

He said he is not yet in receipt of the data, which is essentially the entire hard drive of the computer, but expects it shortly.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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