A Jersey City police officer accused of traveling to Atlantic City to pay to rape two little girls was ordered held in jail this week.
Stephen Wilson, 34, drove an hour and 45 minutes with at least $200 and condoms after agreeing to pay to have sexual intercourse with an 8- and 10-year-old, Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks told the judge Thursday.
What Wilson didn’t know is that there were no girls, and that the people he had spoken with online were undercover officers.
“If there had been young girls, he would have sexually assaulted these young girls,” Weeks said.
Wilson was arrested in a parking area in Atlantic City where he was supposed to meet the adults, Grewal said.
He is charged with conspiracy to commit human trafficking, attempted aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The crime was made worse by the fact that he is a nearly 13-year police veteran, Weeks said.
“This defendant had a duty to protect these children,” she told the judge. “He had a duty to report these crimes.”
Defense attorney Stephen Funk said that the crimes were mostly committed from Wilson’s home, and consisted mostly in a digital space.
“It wasn’t just language on a computer,” Weeks countered. “It was language on a computer that he followed up.”
The lifelong state resident has no prior criminal history, and lives with his wife and 2-year-old son, Funk said.
But, if he had been released, Wilson may not have been able to return home, Weeks noted, saying the Division of Child Protection and Permanency had been notified of Wilson’s charges, which could keep him from living with his son.
Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury ordered Wilson detained.
The already serious charges “were made more serious and dangerous by the fact that the defendant engaged in detailed and lengthy preparations with others to exploit and endanger extremely young children,” the judge said. “There is no safe alternative to detention.”
Several electronic devices were taken from Wilson’s home, but have not yet been analyzed, Weeks said.
More charges could be pending.
Anyone with information about the distribution of child sexual abuse materials on the internet or suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children is asked to call the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.