A former Middlesex County Sheriff’s deputy has admitted to trying to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, while a Cape May County man has been accused of the same crime.

Joshua Padilla, of Eatontown, pleaded guilty to seeking sexual contact with an undercover law enforcement agent who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

He was first investigated in 2019 for video recording a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old girl in spring 2018 and uploading that video online, where it was viewed and shared by other adults, according to Pennsylvania law enforcement.

That federal case, involving child pornography charges, is pending.

During the investigation, an undercover agent posed as a 14-year-old child and exchanged social media and text messages with Padilla, who sent the agent two photos of his genitals and used sexually explicit language. He also asked for photos of what he thought was the teen girl and said he wanted to meet-up in person, authorities said.

In an unrelated, separate case, 52-year-old Robert C. Reinhart, of North Wildwood, is accused of trying to set up a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl by offering money to an adult he thought was the child’s older sister.

In reality, an undercover investigator with the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office exchanged text messages with Reinhart, between January and March.

Reinhart said he would pay $300 to have sex with the child, and also said he would rent a hotel room in the West Deptford area and bring condoms, according to Gloucester County Acting Prosecutor Christine Hoffman.

On Monday, the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force arrested Reinhart at his North Wildwood residence.

He has been charged with first-degree attempted human trafficking of a child, second-degree luring of a child and second-degree attempted sexual assault.

Reinhart was taken to Salem County jail, pending a detention hearing.

Padilla’s sentencing was deferred so that a sexually violent predator assessment could be done.

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