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FDNY EMT Downloaded Child Porn

NEW YORK -- An FDNY EMT used a popular file-sharing program to download child pornography videos, then tried to pass the illegal videos along to someone else online, police said. Edward Cosenza, 44, of Huguenot, is accused of e-mailing three videos from a computer at his home on the 300 block on Darlington Avenue -- where he lived with his wife, according to public records.

His Internet service provider intercepted the e-mails, though, and contacted the cops, a police source said.

The incident allegedly took place last October 24, according to court papers.

Cosenza is suspected of downloading the video through LimeWire -- a file sharing program typically used to trade music, videos and pictures.

But his lawyer, public defender Richard Kopacz, argued in court yesterday that Cosenza is only accused of downloading the videos, not of seeking them out or knowing what they were when he downloaded them.

Cosenza, a 14-year FDNY veteran, is stationed at Manhattan's 4th Battalion. He's been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case, an FDNY spokesman said.

A law enforcement source said he has been estranged from his wife for at least two weeks. The couple has a 2-year-old daughter, the source said.

Neighbors on quiet Darlington Avenue in Huguenot said they barely knew the people who lived in a brick duplex at Cosenza's address. A man, a woman and a teen-ager, along with an infant, lived in the upstairs apartment for about a year, they said. Other neighbors said they never noticed anything unusual at the home, and that the family kept to themselves.

No one answered the door last night, although a light was on in the upstairs apartment.

Two of the videos, which have been flagged as child pornography by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, show pre-teen children in sex acts.

A third video shows an adult male having sex with a girl younger than 12 years old.

Police arrested Cosenza yesterday, and prosecutors charged him with three counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child -- for allegedly disseminating the video -- and possessing a sexual performance by a child.

The promoting charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for a conviction at trial.

Cosenza was ordered held on $5,000 bail at his arraignment in Stapleton Criminal Court.

His sister Christine Cosenza, who watched the arraignment, said she was stunned by the arrest, and didn't fully understand the specifics of the charges against him.

"He never met anybody. There was no contact. There wasn't anything," she said. "It's all alleged."

Advance staff writer Phil Helsel contributed to this report.

John Annese is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at annese@siadvance.com

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