Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced that a man was sentenced to prison today for attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl he met on social media for a sexual encounter.
According to officials, the “girl” in reality was an undercover detective participating in “Operation Home Alone,” a multi-agency undercover operation in April 2019 that targeted individuals who allegedly were using social media to lure underage girls and boys for sex. According to Acting Attorney General Bruck, Jacob J. Smith, 28, of New Rochelle, N.Y., was sentenced today to four years in state prison.
Officials said that Smith pleaded guilty on October 19, 2020, to a charge of second-degree luring. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
According to officials, Smith was arrested on April 13, 2019, in Operation Home Alone. An undercover detective encountered him the prior week on social media. Smith, who believed the undercover detective was a 14-year-old girl, asked the “girl” to meet him for sexual activity.
The investigation said that during the exchanges, Smith discussed sexual acts they would perform when they met and sent sexually explicit photos and videos of himself. He was arrested when he arrived at the location in Bergen County where he had arranged to meet the “girl.” “This prison sentence sends a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute child predators,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck.
“The COVID emergency led to a sharp increase in reported online threats to children, and law enforcement is responding to keep our kids safe. I urge parents to do their part by talking to their children about the dangers posed by predators on social media.” Acting Attorney General Bruck and Director Ruotolo urge anyone with information about the distribution of child sexual abuse material on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey ICAC Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.