Former Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Edward De Sear has been arrested for a second time on child pornography offences.
De Sear, who worked in A&O’s capital markets group in New York, was arrested on Thursday 23 August and indicted on additional charges of collecting and distributing images of child pornography, according to reports on Thomson Reuters.
The charges come a year after De Sear was first arrested and charged with distributing child pornography (15 July 2011).
The indictment claims De Sear used file-sharing programmes to download and distribute images of young girls and boys being restrained and sexually abused. The Newark US Attorney’s office also claims that in 2010 De Sear used A&O’s internet network to view the images.
If De Sear is convicted, he faces up to 180 years in prison and up to $2m (£1.3m) in fines.
De Sear resigned from A&O in 2011 around the time of his first arrest on child pornography charges. He joined the firm from Bingham McCutchen in August 2010 (3 August 2011).
An A&O spokesman said in a statement: “We’re aware of the ongoing criminal proceedings involving Edward de Sear. We continue to co-operate with the authorities on what are very serious allegations that he personally used and distributed child pornography. As such we’re unable to make any further comment.”