New Jersey man pleads guilty to cyber-stalking 3 R.I. minors

Gavel

PROVIDENCE, R.I.– A 23-year-old New Jersey man pleaded guilty to charges of cyberstalking and receipt of child pornography in federal court today, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman.

Prosecuters said Pritkumar Tarunkumar Patel befriended four minors, three of them Rhode Island residents, on social media.

Patel exchanged sexually explicit photos, and in at least one instance, engaged in an explicit video chat, according to court documents.

Federal investigators said Patel threatened to make the photos public on social media sites if the girls did not continue to speak to him, and allegedly threatened to assault one girl if she continued to block his communication.

In one instance, Patel created an Instagram account where he posted a sexually explicit photo of a 13-year-old-girl from Indiana.

Local police in Hopkinton were tipped off by a family member of one of the girls, and after executing a search warrant of computer records were able to identify and obtain the location of Patel.

Patel will be sentenced July 30 in U.S. District Court in Providence.

A plea agreement recommends a sentence of 84 months in prison.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: News, Rhode Island