By: Richard L. Smith
A Lakehurst resident admitted possessing and distributing images of juveniles engaged in sexual abuse and inducing a minor to send him sexually explicit images and engage in sexually explicit conduct over an online messaging service, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Federal authorities said Kevin Van Pelt, 33, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Georgette Castner to an information charging him with one count each of online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct, distribution of explicit images of minors, and possession of prepubescent explicit images of minors.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From August 2018 to October 2018, Van Pelt used multiple online messaging services to communicate with a minor victim, including repeatedly requesting that the minor send him sexually explicit images.
Van Pelt also distributed images and videos of minors engaged in sexual abuse over several online social media applications between December 2017 and March 2019.
Van Pelt possessed images and videos of prepubescent child sexual abuse on his cellular phone when local authorities arrested him on May 1, 2019.
The charge of online enticement carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
The charge of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
The charge of possession of prepubescent explicit images of minors carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2023.