By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A corporate lawyer, substitute teacher, architect and about two dozen others have been charged with possessing child pornography after a five-month investigation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced Tuesday.
A total of 26 Manhattan residents have been charged with possessing graphic images and videos of children. They have all been taken into custody.
"These defendants stockpiled images of the brutal rapes and sexual assaults of tens of thousands of real children,” Vance said in a statement.
Among the defendants were several who had regular contact with children, including Joshua Ruiz, 32, a substitute teacher at three West Side and Upper West Side schools — P.S. 199, P.S. 111 and P.S. 166.
Ruiz was arraigned Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to two felonies: promoting sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child.
The investigation was a joint effort between the DA's cybercrime unit and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations’ Child Exploitation Group.