NJ attorney general warns parents after suspected predator’s multiple arrests
It’s a case that is as shocking as it is disturbing.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help as part of an ongoing investigation of a child sex predator.
An Essex county man who was surrounded by children every day as part of his job was arrested in December and charged with trying to lure a child to his home to have sex with him.
Ethan Chandler, 42, of Belleville, was charged with communicating with an undercover detective posing as a 13-year-old boy.
The communication took place after Chandler allegedly placed an ad soliciting oral sex with a young man on Craigslist.
Chandler was released after posting bail, but then was arrested again on sexual assault and sexual contact charges for allegedly engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on a social media site. Authorities said they learned this after investigators seized his cell phone, computer and other evidence.
According to state Attorney General Christopher Porrino, investigators now believe other underage boys may have been coerced by Chandler.
“We have information that we allege is suggestive of there being yet another victim, so the case is still being investigated although charges have already been lodged,” he said.
“We are actively seeking additional tips and leads with respect to this particular defendant.”
“If people have any information about this individual, authorities are asking that they call our tip-line at 888-648-6007.”
Next week New Jersey 101.5 will present a special town hall on the sex predators among us and the threat they pose.
Porrino says this case should serve as a wake-up call to all New Jersey parents.
“These cases are real. There are predators out there using the tools on the internet that most parents don’t fully understand,” he said.
“Our kids understand these apps and the internet better than we do, and the predators understand them, too, unfortunately, and they’re utilizing them. This is not a theoretical or a hypothetical threat for parents and kids, it’s real,” he said.
Porrino explained the case is ongoing in part because at the same time Chandler was advertising on Craigslist for an underage sex partner, he was operating a video production company that required him to visit schools across the region .
“He has a whole website set up with video footage of kids playing sports,” said Porrino.
“He was videotaping kids and being out with children at these sporting events, effectively shopping for kids to have sex with on the internet.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.