TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a registered sex offender from Burlington County has been arrested on charges that he used social media apps to send photos of his genitals and a video of himself masturbating to underage girls and an undercover detective he believed was a 13-year-old girl.
Joseph M. Graber III, 48, of Marlton, N.J., was arrested yesterday at his home by members of the New Jersey State Parole Board, New Jersey State Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Evesham Township Police Department. Investigators searched the residence and also executed a search warrant at a home in Medford Township where Graber was staying while communicating with the undercover detective. The Medford Township Police Department assisted in the execution of that search warrant. Graber was charged with endangering the welfare of a child (impairing or debauching the morals of a child) (3rd degree), attempted endangering the welfare of a child (impairing or debauching the morals of a child) (3rd degree), and attempted showing obscene materials to a person under 18 (3rd degree). Graber is being prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
A detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigation Unit (DTIU) was monitoring a children’s chatroom when she received private messages from an individual claiming to be a 16-year-old male. The detective identified herself as a 13-year-old girl. The male began asking the “girl” sexually explicit questions and asked if she wanted to see his genitals. He then sent the detective a photo of his genitals. Detectives linked the screen name to an IP address that was traced to Graber, who was identified as a Tier 2 registered sex offender subject to parole supervision for life under Megan’s Law. Graber pleaded guilty in 2011 to attempted endangering the welfare of a child for sending a sexually explicit photo to another detective, who in that case was posing as a 12-year-old girl.
After Graber was identified, the State Parole Board joined the investigation. Graber allegedly continued for about one month to send sexually explicit communications to the detective, who he believed was a 13-year-old girl, using social media apps. He allegedly sent additional photos of himself and his genitals and a video of himself masturbating. He also requested that the “girl” send him “sexy videos” using a video chat app. When investigators previewed the contents of devices seized from Graber yesterday, they discovered evidence that Graber also had been sending sexually explicit photos and/or video of himself to actual underage girls. The investigation is ongoing and full forensic examinations of the devices will be conducted.
“The allegations against Graber reveal a serial sexual predator who invaded a children’s chat room to find vulnerable girls to exploit,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Thankfully, an alert State Police detective identified him and initiated the joint investigation that led to these charges. We are continuously patrolling the internet to arrest sexual predators and prevent them from harming children.”
“Cases like this one starkly illustrate the danger posed to children by sex offenders who use the anonymity of the internet to deceive and prey upon young victims,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge parents to educate their children about these threats and monitor their children’s use of the internet and social media.”
“The State Parole Board is pleased to have been a part of this multi-agency investigation that resulted in the arrest of a repetitive offender. Cooperative efforts with other state, county, and municipal agencies serve as a force multiplier resulting in a significant public safety benefit. The State Parole Board’s participation in the State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force continues to provide significant positive outcomes for the citizens of the State of New Jersey. We are proud of the efforts of our parole officers and all that took part in the investigation,” said Samuel J. Plumeri Jr., Chairman of the New Jersey State Parole Board.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because the charges are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
Graber is being held in the Burlington County Jail on a parole detainer.
Deputy Attorneys General Brian Faulk and Joseph Remy are assigned to the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass. Attorney General Grewal commended the DCJ prosecutors and the members of the State Police DTIU, State Parole Board, HSI, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, the Evesham Township Police Department, and the Medford Police Department who conducted the investigation and assisted with the arrest and searches.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined
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