Ad
Ad

Massive child porn bust nabs 21 ‘sexual predators’ — including babysitter & security guard: Prosecutor

Predatory conduct against children may have increased 50 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors say

Authorities in New Jersey announced Wednesday that an online sting operation has resulted in the arrests of 21 suspected sex offenders.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said in a statement that the arrests were made as part of “Operation Screen Capture.” The operation was in response to a reported uptick in online predators targeting children since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Reports to our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of potential predatory conduct against children are up as much as 50 percent during the COVID emergency as homebound children, starved for outside contact, spend more time on their devices, and opportunistic sexual predators target them online,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal explained.

The 21 suspects — 19 men, one woman, and a juvenile male — were arrested between March 18 and July 31, 2020. Prosecutors said the defendants ranged in age from 15 to 71.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

Two men and one woman are charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children. Eighteen suspects are charged with endangering the welfare of children for possessing or distributing illicit materials online.

In many of the cases, the suspects were reportedly in possession of child rape videos. One of the suspects, Alize Tejada — a 21-year-old babysitter — allegedly filmed herself sexually assaulting a very young child and posted the footage on social media.

The attorney general said many of the arrests stemmed from cyber tips sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In other instances, undercover agents reportedly chatted online with individuals who expressed interest in meeting children to sexually assault.

Grewal cautioned that the threat of online predators will only grow as children return to virtual learning this fall. As a result, he urged parents to be observant of their kids’ online activities and explain to them that the people they communicate with may be dangerous.

“We will continue to work overtime to arrest child predators and those who participate in the cruel exploitation of children by sharing child sexual abuse materials,” he said.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Featured image: (left to right, top to bottom) Aaron Craiger, Jason Berry, Michael Gilpin, Raymond
Radziewicz, Brett Warfield, Loic Atse, Donovan Falconer, Michael Ascough, Alize Tejada, Joseph
Benestante, Shawn Daily, Roy Dantz, Christopher Crispino, Dwayne McCormick, Timothy McMahon, Edward Kross, Henry Ziolkowski, Kevin Carrieri, and Matthew Marzullo/New Jersey Office of the Attorney General]