State Assemblyman Cohen targeted in child porn probe

An investigation by New Jersey?s attorney general is under way following claims that veteran state Assemblyman Neil Cohen had child pornography on his office computer.

News of the probe was released by two fellow lawmakers who share office space with Cohen.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan said in a statement: "We have been in constant touch with the appropriate authorities throughout this situation, and will continue to follow the Office of Legislative Services guidelines and counsel in this matter. While it was our proactive steps that led the investigation to this point, we are appalled at what has transpired."

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Associated Press that staffers allegedly found the pornography on Cohen's computer. They then told the legislative staff, who in turn reported it to the attorney general's office. Investigators have since seized computers from the office.

"Both of us have known Neil Cohen for more than two decades," Lesniak and Cryan said in their statement. "We know him as a compassionate individual, but if the allegations prove true, clearly there was a side to him neither of us knew."

Assemblyman Cohen previously sponsored a bill creating a hotline for people to report child pornography and other Internet crimes. The 57-year-old, of Roselle, served in the Assembly from 1990 to 1991 and from 1994 to present. He is the deputy speaker.

Senate President Richard Codey told News 12 New Jersey exclusively that he finds the allegations, if true, ?disgusting.? Codey said because of Cohen?s work protecting kids from predators, the assemblyman is the last person he?d expect such allegations against.

Cohen has not yet been charged with any crimes. Investigators said the assemblyman checked himself into a psychiatric facility for treatment and has been there since Wednesday.

Click to hear reaction from some New Jersey residents

Neil Cohen's Assembly Bio

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