Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 44-year-old Staten Island man was sentenced today to three years in New Jersey state prison for trying to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he met online and believed was a 14-year-old girl.
John Emilio pled guilty in January to Attempted Endangering the Welfare of Children (Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child – Third Degree). The sentence was handed down in Superior Court in Mount Holly by the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., who ordered that Emilio be placed on the New Jersey sex offender registry upon release and also be under parole supervision for life.
“This defendant’s calculated, predatory behavior presented a very real and very dangerous threat to the vulnerable population he was targeting online,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We are thankful that there was no actual victim, but this case underscores the risks to children from online communication, and we urge parents to pay attention to the cyber activity of their kids.”
Emilio became a suspect in November 2019 during a BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit proactive investigation into the exploitation of children in cyberspace. Emilio initiated contact and sent nude pictures of his genitals. He 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 BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit detective.
Emilio suggested 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. He was arrested at his residence in February 2020.
He was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit. The lead investigator was BCPO Hi-Tech Crimes Unit Detective Sergeant Dave Kohler.
The investigation was a cooperative effort involving the New York City Police Department Computer Crimes Squad, with assistance 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 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.