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Haworth golf club employee charged with distributing child pornography

The clubhouse manager of a Haworth golf club has been arrested and charged with distributing child pornography over the Internet, authorities said Wednesday.

Authorities said John C. Zerega, 54, of New City, N.Y., used his home laptop computer and a computer at the Bergen County golf club where he worked to download and distribute images of nude prepubescent children, some of whom were depicted engaged in sex acts with adults or other children.

A criminal complaint signed by Special Agent Jeffrey Calandra of the FBI did not name the golf club where Zerega worked, but the website of the White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth identifies him as its clubhouse manager.

Zerega, who was arrested Tuesday, made an initial appearance in federal court in Newark on Wednesday morning, but has not yet entered a plea. He was charged with distributing child pornography. The complaint said Zerega admitted to investigators that he is sexually gratified by nude images of children.

White Beeches’ general manager, Tracy Fraus, said Wednesday that Zerega had worked at the club since 2009. He was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after club officials learned of his arrest.

“And then we terminated him today,” Fraus said.

The club’s president, Tim Tracey, said in a statement that the club had fully cooperated with the investigation and that he did not believe any other club employees were involved.

“The club is doing an internal review to make sure all procedures and policies were followed,” he said. “At this point, it does not appear Mr. Zerega acted inappropriately with any of our members, guests or staff.”

Zerega was released on $100,000 bail on the condition that he have no unsupervised contact with minors. He also was barred from using computers and was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, said Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Zerega did not respond to a request for comment, and it was not clear late Wednesday if he had hired a lawyer.

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