A Bordentown man arrested in September 2018 for attempting to lure a minor he met online to a local park for a sexual encounter pleaded guilty on last week, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. The minor was actually an undercover detective with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Officials say, Joseph Coleman, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree luring before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Brown on February 1. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Coleman is sentenced to seven years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility.
He will be required to register as an offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Police arrested Coleman on September 5, 2018, by members of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office after arriving at a park to meet a minor who was actually an undercover detective. Since July 2018, detectives with the MCPO had been investigating individuals trying to exploit minors online.
A detective working in an undercover capacity, posing as a minor, responded to an online ad and triggered more than 100 email exchanges with Coleman. The email conversations included graphic sexual discussion and multiple attempts by Coleman to arrange a meeting.
Prosecutor Onofri urged anyone with information about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with minors via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of minors to please contact ICAC Unit at 609-989-6568 or the tipline at 888-648-6007.