Web threats for nude teen photos means five years for Willingboro ex-con
The Willingboro man who admitted cajoling, then forcing, a 13-year-old girl to send sexually-explicit images of herself to him under the threat of abduction, is given a five-year term in prison.
Craig L. Wyatt, 25, pleaded guilty June 2 to a first-degree charge of manufacturing child pornography, and a third-degee possesion count. He was on probation after a year in jail for convictions on five counts of terroristic threats in Burlington and Atlantic Counties, for stalking and threatening females thorugh Facebook, at the time of his encounter with the teen.
According to New Jersey Attorney General Christoper S. Porrino's office, the sentence meted out in a Burlington County courtroom is less than the eight-year term, with nearly seven years of parole ineligibility, sought by prosecutors. Wyatt was ordered to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law, and to undergo lifetime parole supervision.
Wyatt was indicted November 17, 2015, more than a year after his October 2014 arrest. Investigators determined that he developed an on-line relationship with the girl, who claimed to be 15 years old, via Facebook after their first contact in May 2015.
Wyatt allegedly corresponded in flattering and warm terms until he coaxed nude photos from her, after which his messages became increasingly coercive. Investigators said that he threatened her 10 times in May and June 2014 to obtain more lurid images.
In repeated cell phone and Facebook messages, Wyatt threatened to bring others to kidnap the teen, to post images she'd already sent in on line, and to impregnate her, if she failed to meet his demands for more salacious photos.
A relative who learned of the situation called New Jersey State Police Digital Technology investigators. At the time of his arrest on October 31, 2014, detectives allegedly found 36 degrading images of the girl, 34 stored in his mobile device and two in his Facebook account.
Suspicions of Internet-based intimidating, prurient or coercive communications with children, or possible child expoitation or abuse, is urged to reach the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline, 888-648-6007.
"We have put this serial predator behind bars so he can't continue to stalk, terrorize and sexually exploit other young girls," Porrino said in prepard comments. "Wyatt bullied and blackmailed his vulnerable victim over a period of two months, during which he frightened her into sending him increasingly explicit photos of herself. He is every parent's worst internet nightmare."
Division of Criminal Justice Director Eli Honig added, "Police and parents used to worry about predators their children might encounter at the swimming pool, playground or shopping mall, but now that vigilance must extend to the perilous world of the internet and social media." We will continue to make child protection a top priority and diligently pursue sexual predators like Wyatt who strike online."
"Wyatt intimidated his 13-year-old victim and fueled his perverse fantasy by manipulating her into sending him sexually explicit photos of herself," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "This predator will now face time behind bars for his despicable crimes."
Deputy Attorney General Denise Grugan presented the government's case to a grand jury. Wyatt was represented by Deputy Assistant Public Defender John Cirrincione in Burlington County.