MAYS LANDING — A caseworker for the state Department of Children and Families was charged with possessing more than 1,000 images of child porn after a social networking site tipped off authorities, officials said.
Kayan Frazier, 26, of Somers Point, who is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, was remanded to the Atlantic County jail Thursday after a detention hearing before Judge John R. Rauh in Atlantic County Superior Court.
Frazier, who has been working with the state agency since 2017, was making $51,027 per year as of December, state pension data show.
The agency has transferred his responsibilities to other staff pending the outcome of the case, a DCF spokesman has said.
Public Defender Lauren Musarra unsuccessfully argued for Frazier to be released, saying that “anyone could have had access to these accounts.”
“We do not know who has had access to these devices, we do not know who could potentially have access to the login credentials and the details of these social media accounts, and we do not know who has had access to Mr. Frazier’s wireless networks as well,” she said.
Assistant Prosecutor Dave Ruffenach said that even though Frazier has no criminal history and scores low in the court’s public safety assessment, he should be held because there are no release conditions that would ensure the safety of the community.
In January, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office received a tip from the social media site Tumblr about suspected distribution of videos and images of child abuse and exploitation, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Tumblr banned all “adult content” on its platform late last year, according to a December article from the Washington Post.
“Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content — including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations — that depicts sex acts,” according to the website’s help center.
Officials investigated Tumblr and Gmail accounts linked to Frazier and confirmed that images showed children under the age of 18 engaged in sex acts, according to the affidavit.
A warrant revealed the Gmail account held “a large number of video and still image files in excess of 1,000 images of children under the age of 18 engaged in sex acts.”
Before officials executed the search warrant, detectives conducting surveillance April 11 at Frazier’s home spotted him with a young male in a car, he said.
“The male was also living with him as a foster child, so there’s concern on the state’s part that the defendant still has access to children about the same age and the same gender as the images that he was uploading,” Ruffenach argued.
He also mentioned a March 2017 investigation into Frazier’s employment with a school. He was terminated after an 11-year-old male student slept over at his home, Ruffenach said.
The name of the school was not disclosed in court.
The school incident isn’t relevant because it wasn’t a criminal matter, Musarra said, adding that instead of holding Frazier pretrial, monitoring conditions, such as limiting his access to children and the internet, would suffice.
In his decision, Rauh said monitoring conditions are “less than satisfactory when it comes to protecting the community from a, what appears to be, a significant danger of Mr. Frazier acting out on what appears to be an attraction which is evidenced by those images.”
Frazier is scheduled to appear for a pre-indictment conference May 27 before Judge Donna M. Taylor.