TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – Authorities say a Burlington County man has been indicted by a state grand jury for allegedly stalking a 13-year-old girl on the internet and threatening to kidnap her to coerce her into sending sexually explicit photos.
Attorney General John Hoffman said 23-year-old Craig L. Wyatt, of Willingboro, was indicted on 10 counts of manufacturing child pornography, three counts of theft by extortion, three counts of criminal coercion, possession of child pornography, making terroristic threats and cyber harassment.
Authorities say Wyatt was previously convicted on five counts of terroristic threats for stalking other girls on Facebook and sending them threatening messages.
The new indictment says Wyatt and the 13-year-old girl met on Facebook in May of 2014. At first, he allegedly befriended the victim, who said she was 15, and sent her affectionate texts.
Authorities say after he obtained one or more nude photos of her, he allegedly became threatening.
During a series of texts via cell phone and Facebook, he allegedly repeatedly threatened to kidnap her and/or post photos of her on the internet if she did meet his demands for sexually explicit pictures.
He allegedly said others were going to help him kidnap her, and he was going to take her away and impregnate her.
Authorities say after a relative of the victim learned of the threats, they contacted the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, which then investigated and arrested Wyatt in October, 2014.
Detectives seized his cell phone and allegedly discovered 36 sexually explicit photos of the victim; 34 saved in his phone and two saved in his Facebook account.
“In case after case, we see this alarming pattern of a predator who befriends a young girl using the anonymity of the Internet and then quickly turns from a friend into a terrifying stalker,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “We urge parents to warn their children of these sexual predators, who ruthlessly exploit the fears of their young victims to gain control of them. We intend to make sure that Wyatt pays for the abhorrent crimes he allegedly committed against this child.”
“Wyatt has been charged multiple times with engaging in predatory behavior against underage girls using social media,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
“In this case, however, his alleged conduct includes manufacturing child pornography, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. We’ll continue to work closely with the State Police to make sure alleged sexual predators like Wyatt are put in prison for lengthy terms.”
Wyatt will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment on the charges.
He was taken into custody in October of last year and remains in the Burlington County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Honig urge anyone who suspects improper contact by persons communicating with children on the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.