NJ cops busting people seeking parents who rent children for sex
It’s a scenario so depraved just thinking about it is enough to make you sick.
An elite Jersey State Police cyber-crimes unit is working with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and authorities in other states to track down and arrest adults who are looking to have sex with young children or “rent” their own kids out to predators.
Detective Paul Sciortino, an investigator with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said last year he was posing as an adult who was offering up his young daughter and “people from out of the state solicited me. They were looking online and found me in New Jersey and they sent me money to bring me out to their state to have sex with my child.”
He said the suspect and his girlfriend in Los Angeles wanted to have a sexual encounter with a child so “he bought myself and what he believed was a 4-year-old girl a plane ticket, sent me the confirmation through United Airlines and was flying us out there.”
The couple was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport.
He said another case involved “an Indiana suspect who sent me $200 in the mail to come out there with my daughter, for him to have sex with my daughter in Indiana.”
Sciortino said so far he has not made an arrest of someone offering up their own child for sex.
He said while working on something like this that will help to protect children and apprehend child predators is satisfying, it’s also stressful and draining.
“Really when you start to think about it and delve down into it, it makes you shake your head," he said. “You have to be able to compose yourself because just thinking about these things, if you can’t compartmentalize it you won’t be able to compose yourself when you’re around these suspects. That just comes with experience and time.”
He said suspects may face federal human trafficking and child endangerment charges but if the child being offered up is fictitious, only attempted human trafficking charges will be filed.
His message to cyber predators: We are coming for you.
“We are out there and we are trained to not stick out like cops. A lot of suspects always think they can spot the cop a mile away,” he said. "We’re on the dark web, we’re on social media, we’re on all the cell phone applications, and we will find you.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com