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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ocean County Man Charged with Online Enticement of a Minor and Possession of Child Pornography

TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was arrested this morning on charges that he induced a minor to send him sexually explicit pictures and to engage in sexually explicit conduct over an online messaging service, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Kevin Van Pelt, 29, of Lakehurst, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct and one count of possession of child pornography. Van Pelt appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured appearance bond.

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 had images of 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 possession of child pornography carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited members of the FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; members of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Charles A. Fiore; and members of the Woolwich Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard Jaramillo, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

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

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 25, 2020