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Montclair State University Student Indicted After Allegedly Impersonating Woman on Social Media to Get Explicit Photos of Minor

Burlington County

By: Kafi Rosenbaum

The Attorney General's Office announced that a Trenton grand jury has returned a 12-count criminal charge indictment against Mr. Keyon Luff, 21, of Edgewater Park in Burlington County. 

According to officials of the investigation, led by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Cybercrimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforces, between January and July 2021, Luff used a popular social media platform to contact at least three minors between the ages of 14 and 16 online.

Luff allegedly created fictitious social media accounts, impersonating an adult female on one platform and utilizing that false identity to obtain the sexual files of others, including minors. 

He supposedly used said platform to direct the underage victims into engaging in sexual acts. This includes recording themselves on video, instructing them to send the lewd videos to him, and having sexually explicit conversations.

Luff reportedly used the internet connection of his Essex County-based university to upload the videos online.

According to the investigation, the defendant impersonated an adult female on one platform and utilized that false identity to obtain sexual files of others, including minors.

Officials say that detectives seized numerous digital devices from Luff’s dorm room during the execution of a search warrant on May 3.

Investigators determined the defendant was allegedly in possession of illicit, unlawful images of minor sex abuse.

First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said, “As alleged in the indictment, the defendant assumed a fraudulent identity, posing as a woman with the specific intent of deceiving and manipulating children. The grand jury determined this individual utilized this charade to induce victims to produce footage that would later be shared online without their knowledge or consent,”

She continued by saying, “Such material should not exist, let alone circulate. And the manner in which it was allegedly obtained from the victims is not only abhorrent — it illustrates the alleged predatory premeditation that went into these crimes.”

J. Stephen Ferketic, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, claimed, “This case illustrates that the Division of Criminal Justice will stop at nothing to investigate and prosecute those who exploit children over social media platforms,”

He concluded by saying, “We urge parents to be vigilant, and to be aware of who their children are communicating with on social media platforms.”

The criminal investigation leading to Luff’s arrest was launched following a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a private nonprofit that assists with the location of missing children, reduction of minor sexual exploitation, and prevention of minor victimization.

In this investigation, NCMEC reported that a cloud-based file hosting service reported that several files depicting suspected child sex abuse were uploaded to its platform.

Investigators determined that the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to upload the files was associated with the university Luff was attending, and further investigation identified him as a suspect.

Luff has been indicted on the following charges:

  • Manufacturing  Sexual Exploitation/Abuse Material of a minor – three counts, 1st Degree
  • Sexual Assault — 2nd Degree
  • Photographing or Filming a Minor in a Prohibited Sexual Act or in the Simulation of Such an Act – three counts, 2nd Degree
  • Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child – three counts, 3rd Degree
  • Possession of  Sexual Exploitation/Abuse of a Minor Material (less than 1,000 items) – 3rd Degree
  • Impersonation — 4th Degree

The defendant is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending trial.