Sex Crime

NJ Man Sentenced to More Than 7 Years in Prison On Stalking, Child Porn Charges

the judge's stand inside a courtroom with a US flag in the background

A New Jersey man authorities say persuaded four underage girls he befriended online to send him explicit photos of themselves and threatened to share the images on social media if they stopped communicating with him was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Rhode Island to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Pritkumar Patel, 24, of Closter, New Jersey pleaded guilty in April to receipt of child pornography and cyberstalking.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary McElroy said Patel caused his victims “irreparable harm” and said she was not convinced that he was truly remorseful, The Providence Journal reported.

“I’m not sure you understand the level of harm you’ve done to these women,” McElroy said during the virtual hearing.

Patel contacted the girls, ages 13 to 16, on social media posing as a 17-year-old boy. Three of the girls were from Rhode Island and one was from Indiana, prosecutors said.

He convinced them to share explicit images and then threatened to share the images with their classmates if they stopped communicating with him, prosecutors said. In one case, Patel followed through on his threats by posting an explicit photo of a 13-year-old girl on Instagram, prosecutors said.

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