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Press Release

New Jersey Man Detained on Child Pornography, Cyberstalking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A New Jersey man who allegedly befriended four minor females on social media, three in Rhode Island, and persuaded them to send sexually explicit photographs of themselves to him, then allegedly threatened to share the photographs on social media with their classmates and others if they didn’t continue to communicate with him, made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence today on child pornography and cyberstalking charges.

It is alleged that Pritkumar Tarunkumar Patel, 23, of Closter, NJ, befriended the girls on various social media platforms, and persuaded each to send sexually explicit photographs of themselves to him. It is also alleged that Patel sent sexually explicit photographs of himself to the girls, and, in at least one instance, allegedly communicated in much the same way via a live video chat.

Additionally, it is alleged that Patel threatened and harassed the girls on social media, by text messaging, and /or by calling them. It is alleged that Patel repeatedly demanded that they resume communicating with him and unblock his access to their social media accounts. He allegedly threatened to post the sexually explicit photos of them online and that he would share them with their friends, classmates, and family members. He also threatened to create Instagram accounts in the girls’ names and use those accounts to post the pictures online.

It is alleged that on at least one occasion he followed through on his threats by allegedly posting a sexually explicit picture of one of the girls, a 13-year-old girl from Indiana, on an Instagram account he created using her name.

It is also alleged that Patel threatened to locate and assault one of the girls if she did not unblock his access to her online accounts.

The investigation into Patel’s alleged actions began when the family of one of the girls brought the matter to the attention of the Hopkinton, R.I., Police Department. A Hopkinton Police Detective obtained a court-authorized search warrant that assisted him in identifying Patel and the IP address from which he was allegedly communicating with the girls.

Patel, who was charged on January 6, 2020, by way of a federal criminal complaint with production of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, transferring obscene material, and cyberstalking, was arrested on January 9, 2020, on a federal arrest warrant issued in Rhode Island. He made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence today and was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and commends the Hopkinton Police Department for their investigative efforts that ultimately led to the identity and arrest of Patel.

The matter was investigated by the Hopkinton Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, New Jersey State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated February 6, 2020

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 20-24