Posted by Real-Time News.

Police Chief Mark DiLuzio rolled out the new unit publicly and announced charges against a 43-year-old Slate Belt man.

Bethlehem police Thursday announced a new Internet Crimes Against Children unit, as well as the investigative task force’s first arrest.

Derek J. Caponigro, 43, of the 100 block of Garibaldi Avenue in Roseto, was arrested Thursday by detectives assigned to the unit, Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio said.

Caponigro faces 19 charges, including indecent assault on a victim younger than 13, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children, invasion of privacy and counts related to child porn.

He was arraigned before District Judge Roy Manwarig II and sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail, according to police.

Additional charges are pending in the ongoing investigation, police said.

“From videos seized during the investigation, it became apparent that Caponigro not only shared child pornography, but in fact made child pornography,” DiLuzio said in a statement. “One juvenile has been identified thus far in the investigation.”

Man forced girl to record his sexual assault of child

The Bethlehem police Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC, unit is part of the broader Pennsylvania ICAC Task Force commanded out of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, according to DiLuzio.

Local detectives assigned to the unit will submit monthly statistics on investigations. Through training and software provided at no cost to Bethlehem, the detectives will be able to track child porn suspects and share information on cases across jurisdictions.

The investigators assigned to the Bethlehem ICAC unit are are Detective Sgt. Robert Toronzi, Special Victims Detective Thomas Galloway, Detective Sam DelRosario and Detective Michael DiLuzio.

“Bethlehem Police developed this unit in response to a growing need to combat crimes against children and in response to the public’s concern for the safety of young children,” DiLuzio, the police chief, stated. “The police department and cooperating agencies recognized the need for such a program, heard the concerns of the public and thus this unit was established.”

This newly formed unit will work along with the Lehigh County Computer Crime Task Force and the Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County, based at DeSales University.

“I would like to thank Mayor Robert Donchez, along with Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and PA State ICAC Task Force and the Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County, for their assistance and support in this new initiative by Bethlehem police to combat Internet crimes against children,” DiLuzio stated.

Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.