A Mount Holly man is charged with trying to get an underage girl to go back to his house for sex in exchange for buying her booze in Sea Isle City.
Police say the victim was able to pull herself free, and then told cops what happened.
Investigators believe 28-year-old Sayal Sawaged may have done this before, and are looking for other potential victims.
Sawaged's family, however, say he is in need of mental health assistance.
A spokesman for the family told New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday that loved ones have been trying to get him Sawaged admitted to a facility where he can be monitored and treated. The relative said Sawaged was released from a facility in Boston in October and prescribed medication to deal with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
"When he’s on his medication, he is a totally normal person," Sawaged's relative said. "When he is off the medication, he goes through these episodes. He’ll have no idea what happened. If you get into a heated argument with him, he won’t remember any of it."
The Cape May County prosecutor said Sawaged is charged with luring, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault. Police did not say where the alleged crimes took place.
Police Chief Thomas McQuillen told The Press of Atlantic City that his officers are still actively investigating the case and trying to identify other victims. If you have any information, you are being urged to contact Sea Isle City Police at 609-263-4311.
NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in "Operation 24/7"
A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."
The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.
Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.
State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."
NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts
Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.
In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law
went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.
The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.
Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park
From amusement rides to all the boardwalk food and lots of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park have endured as a family friendly spot for all ages.
Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier have been struck with tragic disasters - such as fire, Superstorm Sandy and another fire. Both have proven their resiliency through rebuilding and expansion.