Ventnor man charged with sharing child porn released with conditions

A Ventnor man accused of sharing more than 1,000 images of child sexual abuse through social media was released on conditions following a detention hearing Wednesday.
Mark McGurk Jr., 25, faces first- and second-degree child pornography charges following an investigation sparked by Instagram.
McGurk has an attraction to girls ages 6 to 11 years old, according to information released in court.
In addition to the images, investigators also found what Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Buckley described as a “prosthetic replica” of a female child from the waist down. There were also photos on Instagram of McGurk “having intercourse with this childlike object,” she said.
Investigators found unopened packages of little girls’ underwear that Buckley said were ordered online as used.
While neither is illegal to purchase or own, Buckley said it pointed to a strong predilection to young girls. She also noted that McGurk lives just two blocks from the Ventnor schools.
But McGurk’s defense attorney noted he has strong ties to the community and lives with his grandmother and father. She also noted all of his electronic devices had been taken and the only thing that remained at the home was his father’s old flip phone that doesn’t have Internet access.
Superior Court Judge John Rauh released McGurk with weekly check-ins and the understanding that he could not have any contact with anyone 18 or younger. Any interaction with minors who are related to him is allowed but should be supervised, Rauh said.
The judge warned McGurk and his attorney that any violations would easily land him back in jail where he would be held pending the outcome of his case.
McGurk worked for Ventnor Public Works, but is currently suspended without pay.
A next court date has not yet been scheduled.
Ventnor police are “are of the situation and have measures in place to ensure public safety is the priority from the moment of his arrest to the second he was released,” Police Chief Doug Biagi said.

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