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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Indiana Man Charged With Attempted Online Enticement Of Child To Engage In Criminal Sexual Conduct

NEWARK, N.J. – A Lebanon, Indiana, man was indicted today for attempting to coerce an individual he thought was a 14-year old boy into engaging in sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Randal Wise, 43, is charged by indictment with one count of attempted online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Oct. 25, 2019, Wise sent messages via an online dating application to an individual who told Wise that he was a 14-year-old boy in the eighth grade. Unbeknownst to Wise, the individual was an undercover agent (UC) posing as a minor victim. Wise engaged in sexual conversations with the UC and sent photographs of his genitals to the UC. Wise also asked the UC to send nude photographs and invited the UC to his hotel room. The following day, Wise again contacted the UC via the dating application and made arrangements to meet in person at a residence in Somerset, New Jersey. When Wise arrived at the house, he was arrested by law enforcement agents.

The attempted online enticement of a minor charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Michael Robertson, for its assistance.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-044
Updated January 29, 2020