New Jersey basketball coach accused of distributing child porn

WALDWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey basketball coach is under arrest, accused of distributing 50 images of child pornography through a Tumblr account.

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said the charges were the result of a two-month investigation into 23-year-old Joseph Franscella, a youth coach at Hoop Heaven in Waldwick, after the Internet Crime Against Children Task Force received information that an individual was distributing child porn.

Detectives conducted an search at Franscella's Hawthorne home earlier this month, and Frascella was subsequently arrested and charged with maintaining, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Police say he confessed to the crime, and computers seized from his residence are being examined in an attempt to locate additional files of child pornography.

Hoop Heaven officials said they were completely shocked to learn of the allegations against Frascella, who they say passed multiple background checks. He was immediately terminated based on the current investigation.

"At Hoop Heaven, we do everything possible to protect our customers, especially children," a letter to customers read. "We are a licensed summer camp that requires staff to be background checked both for crimes and for being a sexual offender...Moreover, our coaches are USA Basketball certified, which also requires an additional background check."

Authorities said it did not appear any children from the camp were involved.

"Right now, we are comfortable in saying we haven't seen anything that links his position as a basketball coach and the child pornography as being related," Passaic County Sheriff's Office Chief George Rosenthal said.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office is assisting with the investigation.

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