|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Cumberland County man was convicted at trial today of directing a woman to initiate sexual activities involving two children, a boy, age 13, and a girl, age 8, and send him photos. At his direction, the woman had sex with the boy while he listened, and, on another occasion, she had the girl perform oral sex on the boy, so she could send the defendant a cell phone photo of the act.
Gary T. Cramer, 29, of Bridgeton, was found guilty by a Camden County jury of all counts against him, including two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree conspiracy, six counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of fourth-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The child endangerment counts include charges of possession, distribution and manufacturing of child pornography related to the photos that the woman, Rachael Baker, 23, of Winslow Township, N.J., sent to him. Cramer and Baker were indicted in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice.
The verdict followed a week-long trial before Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Holden in Camden. The case was tried by Deputy Attorneys General Denise Grugan and Sarah Lichter of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, including a term of parole ineligibility equal to 85 % of the sentence imposed. The state also will move for a potential extended term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Cramer met Baker online and started a sexual relationship with her. In order to manipulate her, he falsely told her that he was her boyfriend and loved her. The state presented testimony and evidence at trial that, between August 2010 and January 2011, Cramer – who had two prior child pornography convictions – used Baker to gain access to the boy and girl for sexual purposes. On one occasion, Cramer spoke with Baker and the boy by phone, urging them to engage in sexual intercourse, which they did, while Cramer listened and masturbated. Cramer pressured Baker to take sexual photos of the girl, and have the girl and the boy engage in a sexual act, so she could photograph it for him. At his instigation, Baker directed the girl to perform oral sex on the boy, and she took a cell phone photo of the act that she sent to Cramer’s phone. Baker also sent other pornographic photos she took of the girl to Cramer. Cramer asked Baker to let him engage in sexual conduct with the girl, but Baker refused. Baker pleaded guilty in 2012 to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and other charges. She was sentenced on Feb. 28, 2014 to 10 years in prison, including 8 ½ years of parole ineligibility.
“This vile predator manipulated an insecure and depraved woman so he could gain access to innocent children and sexually exploit them for his gratification,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “This guilty verdict ensures that he will spend many years behind bars, where he cannot violate other children through his maliciously deviant conduct.”
“This investigation began with a tip regarding suspicious cell phone communications,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge members of the public to contact us confidentially if they learn of communications online or via cell phone that potentially relate to the sexual abuse of children, so we can apprehend sexual predators and protect children.”
“It is our duty to protect those who cannot defend themselves,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will always work to expose the predators who commit these evil crimes against children and stop the creation and spread of these vile images.”
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Honig noted that the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has a confidential tip line 888-648-6007 for people to report suspected improper contact by persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children.
The investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice also led to charges against a second woman connected to Cramer, Stephanie Bennett, 27, of Woodbine, who was indicted separately on June 27, 2011. The investigation revealed that Bennett made a cell phone video of herself performing oral sex on an infant boy. She pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree charge of child abuse and neglect and was sentenced on Dec. 6, 2013 to time served. She served roughly two years in jail prior to sentencing.
Cramer also had a sexual relationship with Bennett, and the two communicated via text message about her sexual conduct involving the infant. The investigation began when police received information about those communications. State Police detectives initially arrested Baker on Jan. 23, 2011, and they arrested Cramer and Bennett on Feb. 16, 2011.
Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Sharpe, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, was assigned to the investigation. He indicted the case, took the pleas from Baker and Bennett, and assisted Deputy Attorneys General Grugan and Lichter at the trial of Cramer.
The lead detective for the State Police was Detective Erin Micciulla. The case was investigated by the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, NJSP Cyber Crimes Unit, NJSP Missing Persons Unit, NJSP Troop A Criminal Investigation Office and NJSP TEAMS South Unit. Assistance was provided by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charge of first-degree aggravated sexual assault carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison, including a term of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed, and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.