A Sayreville man has been charged with allegedly attempting to lure a 14-year-old boy he met through social media to his residence for a sexual encounter. The “boy” in reality was an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police.
Craig M. Dimonda, 37, was charged on Aug. 8 in Sayreville by members of the New Jersey State Police on a charge of second-degree attempted luring of a child, according to information provided by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. Dimonda was being held in the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center pending a detention hearing, as of press time.
Earlier this year, an undercover detective from the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) reportedly encountered Dimonda on social media.
It is alleged that Dimonda, who believed the undercover detective was a 14-year-old boy, communicated with the “boy” via text messages for a period of approximately three months, outlining his desire to engage in various sexual activities with the “boy” and watch pornography together.
Ultimately, Dimonda allegedly asked the boy to meet him on Aug. 8 at a convenience store in Sayreville, so he could take him back to his residence to engage in sexual activity, according to the statement. Upon his arrival at the convenience store, Dimonda was taken into custody by State Police detectives. He was charged and subsequently lodged in jail.
“Sexual predators frequently use social media apps in their search for potential underage victims, and that is why law enforcement and parents need to be vigilant to protect children from those who might use these apps to try to lure and sexually exploit them,” Grewal said in the statement. “The State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, and our partners on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are working tirelessly to protect children through these proactive investigations.”
“By arresting this alleged child predator, the New Jersey State Police in all likelihood prevented him from continuing this pattern of behavior and seeking other victims,” Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice said in the statement. “I commend the members of the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit for their skillful handling of these investigations. We will continue to ensure that the offenders arrested through these proactive online investigations are vigorously prosecuted.”
“An investigation and arrest like the one in this case underscores the reality that when children go online, they have direct and immediate access to complete strangers, which often places unsuspecting children at tremendous risk,” Colonel Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said in the statement. “Most of us have an image of sexual predators lurking around playgrounds or in dark alleys seeking out their potential victims, but the reality is that children who meet and ‘chat’ with strangers online are easy prey for internet predators who have ready and anonymous access to children online, where such predators roam without limits. I commend all of those partners and detectives involved for a phenomenal job in protecting our society’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh is assigned to prosecute the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Julia Glass.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of 5-10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Because the charge is an indictable offense, the case will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
Grewal and Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.