Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and Belleville Police Chief Mark Minichini announced today that a North Arlington man has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and luring a minor.
Officials said Mr. Bradley O'Dell, 57, was taken into custody on Friday, October 8, without incident.
The victim, a 13-year-old Belleville resident, reported encountering the defendant on an online dating app.
After exchanging messages with the child online, the defendant arranged for the juvenile victim to meet him in person, at which point, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted the victim.
It is alleged that the sexual assaults occurred on three separate occasions throughout September.
The sexual assaults allegedly occurred in Belleville, Lyndhurst, and Nutley.
O'Dell was charged following an investigation by the Belleville Police Department.
"This case highlights how important it is for parents to play an active role in their children's online behavior and to monitor the usage of social media," Acting Prosecutor Stephens said.
The Prosecutor's Office asks anybody who may have additional information regarding this case to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Special Victims Unit at 973-753-1130.
These are accusations.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.