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Prosecutors gave the following account: The undercover officers were contacted by the 16 men, who in some cases sent explicit photographs.The men, who were attempting to arrange sexual encounters, then agreed to go to a house in Bergen County, where they expected to find the young people they had contacted at home alone.Instead, they were met at the house by police officers.The teacher, the police officer and the minister were among the men from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania who were arrested during a weeklong sting operation aimed at catching people seeking sexual encounters online with underage teenagers.The investigation followed virtually the same playbook as an operation last September, during which a police sergeant, a firefighter and a nurse were apprehended.
J., was awaiting sentencing in Bergen County on an earlier charge of possession of child pornography, and a judge ordered him detained on Wednesday pending trial, officials said. Keizer was one of the individuals who showed up to the house used by law enforcement to lure would-be predators. Tuchol, the police officer from Ridgewood, was arrested on April 15 at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in Hackensack, even though he had shown up to the sting location expecting to meet a 15-year-old girl, according to authorities. Tuchol was also charged with possession of anabolic steroids and drug paraphernalia.Statutory rape is distinguishable from forcible rape, in that it’s a status offense, and does not require any element of force.The only requirement is that the accused had sexual relations with someone under the age of consent.Many gaming, chat and dating apps lack safeguards to keep children from being contacted surreptitiously by people seeking to lure them into sexual encounters, even while in the company of their parents. None of the apps used by investigators during this investigation have age verification features, the attorney general said.“When we think back to the luring of subjects in playgrounds with a puppy or candy, it is a totally different ballgame now, with the advent of the internet and with these apps that make it so easy for predators to prey on our most vulnerable,” Col. Callahan, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said. The officers also used popular games, such as Fortnite and Minecraft, and the gaming chat platform Discord.“It’s incumbent on app developers to do more to ensure that those apps are used by age-appropriate customers,” said Mr. One of the men arrested, Luis Gonzalez Palacio of Weehawken, N.
The age of legal consent in New Jersey varies according to the circumstances, from as young as 13 if in a consensual relationship with someone no older than 17, to as old as 18 where engaged in sexual contact with a relative or other authority figure.