|TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Hudson County man was arrested on charges that he used the Internet to coerce a 15-year-old girl from Minnesota into posing for him nude and engaging in sexual conduct on a Web camera.
The Union City Police arrested Daniel Derringer, 24, of Union City, yesterday (April 7) at his home when he returned from a trip out of state, and seized his laptop computer. Derringer was charged by the New Jersey State Police with causing a child to perform a prohibited sexual act knowing, having reason to know or intending that the act will be filmed or photographed (aka, manufacturing child pornography - 2nd degree), and possession of child pornography (4th degree). He was lodged in the Hudson County Jail with bail set at $100,000 by Superior Court Judge Adam E. Jacobs.
The charges resulted from an investigation by the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit. He is being prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
The investigation began when a 15-year-old girl in Minnesota reported to local police that a person contacted her online through a social networking site, claiming to be another girl of the same age. That person, who investigators allege was Derringer, convinced the victim to take her top off and expose her breasts in front of her webcam. Derringer allegedly recorded the act. He then allegedly got on his own webcam, revealing that he had been lying about his identity, and told her that if she didn’t do as he told her, he would post images of her exposing her breasts on the Internet. Derringer allegedly ordered the girl to disrobe. He then allegedly demanded that she touch herself in a sexual manner and assume various poses to better expose herself. Meanwhile, Derringer allegedly masturbated and twice exposed his genitals to the girl via his webcam. He also allegedly showed her several sexually explicit videos of other young girls.
“This defendant allegedly used deception, shame and fear to coerce a young girl into complying with his perverse demands,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “This type of predatory behavior on the Internet is every parent’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, this victim had the courage to come forward, so that police could make an arrest and prevent others from being victimized.”
“We are working closely with the New Jersey State Police and other law enforcement agencies to aggressively investigate and prosecute this type of predatory behavior against children,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Our investigation of this alleged offender is ongoing, and we urge any other potential victims from New Jersey or outside the state to contact us confidentially.”
“Those who prey on children sometimes go to unbelievable lengths to manipulate their innocent victims to perform sexual acts,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We are grateful that our investigations help stop predators from hurting additional victims.”
The Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free, confidential tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report criminal activity. The public can also log on to the Division’s website at www.njdcj.org to report information confidentially.
The victim used her cell phone to take a photo of her computer screen with her assailant’s face visible, and police in Minnesota were able to trace the communications to the address of Derringer. They alerted the New Jersey State Police. The State Police matched the photo taken by the victim with Derringer. The State Police executed a search warrant on Thursday, April 4, at Derringer’s home and seized computer equipment. They allegedly found videos of incidents similar to that which the Minnesota girl reported to the police.
Detective G. Michael Williams led the investigation for the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Sharpe is handling the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Computer Analysis & Technology Unit, within the Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, the case will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
The State Police and the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) work with out-of-state partners to share information on sexual predators on the Internet and distributors and users of child pornography. A major partner is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. They maintain a national, toll-free tip line for the public to report crimes against children: 1-800-THE-LOST, or 1-800-843-5678. That tip line was responsible for bringing more than 900 leads to the New Jersey ICAC on sexual crimes against children. If you suspect improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet, please call the tip line.