TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Middlesex County man was sentenced to state prison today for attempting to lure a 14-year-old boy he met through social media to his residence for a sexual encounter. The “boy” in reality was an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police.
Craig M. Dimonda, 38, of Sayreville, N.J., was sentenced today to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. in Middlesex County. Dimonda pleaded guilty on March 4 to charges of second-degree luring and second-degree attempted distribution of child pornography. Dimonda will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh prosecuted Dimonda and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. He was arrested on Aug. 8, 2018, in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU).
Prior to Dimonda’s arrest, an undercover detective from the State Police DTIU encountered Dimonda on social media. Dimonda, who believed the undercover detective was a 14-year-old boy, communicated with the “boy” via text messages for a period of approximately three months, outlining his desire to engage in various sexual activities with the “boy” and watch pornography together. He also requested that the “boy” send him sexually explicit pictures of himself. Ultimately, Dimonda asked the boy to meet him at a convenience store in Sayreville, so he could take him back to his residence to engage in sexual activity. Upon his arrival at the convenience store, Dimonda was arrested by State Police detectives.
“This prison sentence sends a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute digital-age sexual predators like Dimonda who use social media to search for underage victims,” said Attorney General Grewal. “During the past year, we arrested 40 alleged predators of this type in two major undercover operations in Ocean and Bergen counties, in addition to defendants like Dimonda arrested through our everyday patrolling of the internet. We will continue to work with our partners on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to protect children through these online investigations.”
“We have put this child predator behind bars, where he can no longer stalk young victims on social media,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We also have ensured that he will be monitored in the future through Megan’s Law and parole supervision for life. We will never cease in our efforts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting these offenders.”
“This case underscores the reality that when children go online, they have direct and immediate access to complete strangers, which often places unsuspecting children at tremendous risk,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “Most of us have an image of sexual predators lurking around playgrounds or in dark alleys seeking out their potential victims, but the reality is that children who meet and ‘chat’ with strangers online are easy prey for internet predators who have ready and anonymous access to children online, where such predators roam without limits. I commend all of those partners and detectives involved for a phenomenal job in protecting our society’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Deputy Attorney General Huynh was supervised on the case by Bureau Chief Julia Glass and Deputy Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
In addition to investigating cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, members of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, and the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force routinely conduct undercover chat investigations on social media platforms leading to arrests of hands-on offenders and defendants attempting to lure children. They also conduct proactive investigations to apprehend offenders by monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and identifying the IP addresses of individuals sharing child pornography.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Anthony Fazioli, Esq., Woodbridge, N.J.