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Press Release

Ocean County Man Admits Online Enticement of Minor, Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man today admitted possessing and distributing images of child sexual abuse and inducing a minor to send him sexually explicit images and engage in sexually explicit conduct over an online messaging service, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Kevin Van Pelt, 33, of Lakehurst, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Georgette Castner to an information charging him with one count each of online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct, distribution of child pornography, and possession of prepubescent child pornography. 

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

From August 2018 to October 2018, Van Pelt used multiple online messaging services to communicate with a minor victim, including repeatedly requesting that the minor send him sexually explicit images. Van Pelt also distributed images and videos of child sexual abuse over several online social media applications between December 2017 and March 2019. Van Pelt possessed images and videos of prepubescent child sexual abuse on his cellular phone when he was arrested by local authorities on May 1, 2019.

The charge of online enticement carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of prepubescent child pornography carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; and members of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christine Hoffman, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.


Updated March 22, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-069