Man who asked 12-year-old to go to movies with him gets 5 years
A 56-year-old Tuckerton man has been sentenced to 5 years in state prison after asking a 12-year-old girl in Stafford to go to the movies with him.
The sentencing took place Wednesday and was announced by Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Thursday.
Mark Allan will also be subject to Megan's Law registration, parole supervision for life and Nicole's Law — which will bar him from having contact with the girl, or with the Stafford Public Library where the incident occurred.
Allan entered a guilty plea to a second-degree luring charge before Judge Wendel E. Daniels in May.
According to the prosecutor's office, Allan approached the 12-year-old at the library on Feb. 7 and handed her a note asking that she go to the movies with him.
Stafford Police Detective Drew Smith and Ocean County Prosecutor Detective Jason Steele conducted an undercover operation posing as the 12-year-old girl, the prosecutor's office said. Allan communicated with the undercover officers via text messaging at the telephone number he had written on the note to the girl, it said.
Allan came back to the library the next day believing he was meeting the girl, and was instead greeted by an officer who apprehended Allan without incident.
The prosecutor's office said the Stafford Township Patrol Division and Stafford Township Drug Enforcement Unit also assisted in the investigation, though it didn't say if Allan was also suspected at any point of a drug crime.
Allan had also originally been charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail set by Superior Court Judge Gizinski at the time and has been incarcerated ever since, the prosecutor's office said.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Terry Ann Linardakis.
The prosecutor's office said Debra Giordano of its victim/witness advocate unit assisted the family throughout the process, and the victim's mother was present for the sentencing.