MAYS LANDING — Pleasantville High School Principal Edward James Bonek pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of possessing child pornography and weapons during a brief court appearance.

Bonek, 49, of Absecon, was indicted in late October on seven counts, including possession and distribution of more than 1,000 images of child pornography, official misconduct and unlawful possession of an assault firearm and high-capacity magazine. He is accused of using his work-issued laptop to download and share the pornography.

In court Wednesday, Bonek’s attorney, John Zarych, said he was still awaiting evidence.

“A significant factor in the case is the forensic analysis by the state. We don’t have that yet,” Zarych told Judge Benjamin Podolnick, asking for more time before the next court appearance.

Zarych said the analysis would then be given to the defense expert to review.

In response, Atlantic County Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach requested a letter stating exactly what it is the defense wants, “because I was under the impression that all the discovery had gone out.”

The judge said they could meet again in two weeks and asked the attorneys to work out the discovery issues.

Bonek’s first status conference is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Contact: 609-272-7251 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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