Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 43-year-old Staten Island man has pleaded guilty to trying to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he met online and believed was a 14-year-old girl.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, John Emilio, of Wooley Avenue, pled guilty to Attempted Endangering the Welfare of Children (Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child – Third Degree) in exchange for a three-year term in New Jersey state prison. The plea was entered in Superior Court on December 23, 2020 before the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for March 24 in Mount Holly.
Emilio became a suspect in November 2019 during a BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit proactive investigation into the exploitation of children in cyberspace. During the investigation, Emilio initiated contact and sent nude pictures of his genitals, said he was very excited that he would be having sex with a girl so young, and looked forward to taking her virginity. In reality, Emilio was communicating with a detective from the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.
Emilio had discussed coming to Burlington County to have sex with the girl, either at a Route 130 motel or inside of his vehicle, but the trip never materialized. Emilio was taken into custody in February 2020 at his residence following the execution of a search warrant. He was employed as a janitor at a Staten Island hospital at the time of his arrest.
He is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit.
The investigation was a cooperative effort involving the New York City Police Department Computer Crimes Squad, which is a member of the New York City Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistance was provided by United States Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Office, the Cinnaminson Township Police Department and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office in New York.
The lead investigator was BCPO Hi-Tech Crimes Unit Detective Sergeant Dave Kohler.
The Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit and the Cinnaminson Township Police Department are members of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The BCPO also belongs to the New Jersey State Police Cyber Terrorism Task Force.