Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an officer of the Jersey City Police Department was arrested today on charges that he traveled to Atlantic City, N.J., in order to sexually assault two underage girls. The defendant allegedly communicated using a chat app with other adults who indicated they would provide him with access to children he could sexually assault.
Stephen Wilson, 34, of Bayonne, N.J., was arrested this afternoon in a parking area in Atlantic City, where he allegedly agreed to meet the adults who offered him access to the girls. Wilson allegedly had encountered the other adults through an incest chat group, and they offered him access to two girls, ages 10 and 8, to sexually assault in exchange for $200. Wilson allegedly agreed to bring condoms if he intended to engage in sexual intercourse with the children. He had condoms and more than $500 in cash in his possession when he was arrested.
Wilson was arrested in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. He was charged by complaint-warrant with the following offenses:
- Conspiracy to Commit Human Trafficking (1st degree)
- Attempted Aggravated Sexual Assault (2nd degree)
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (3rd degree)
Wilson will be lodged in the Atlantic County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Attorney General Grewal commended the Detectives of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, under the leadership of NJSP Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, Special Agents of HSI Newark, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, and Deputy Attorneys General of the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau, under the leadership of DCJ Director Veronica Allende. Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks is assigned to prosecute the case, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lilianne Daniel, Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter, and DCJ Deputy Director Rob Czepiel.
First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000, while second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Attorney General Grewal, Colonel Callahan, and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child sexual abuse materials on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined.